08 SES 13, Health awareness and health behaviour
Teen Dating Violence (TDV) is a global problem that is maximized in vulnerable contexts. Research carried out in European countries show high levels of TDV, giving cause for concern. Each year, one out of four adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse by an intimate partner, with 16-19 year-olds’ girls having almost twice probability to be abused in comparison with older women (13% vs. 7%). The risk (for both TDV victimization and perpetration) is increased by far for women and men who, during their childhood, had been exposed to Child Abuse or Neglect (CAN) and/or parental intimate partner violence(IPV). In the same way, cross-cultural and comparative studies on gender and dating violence recognizes significant differences between cultural groups, being up to five times higher among immigrants.
Teen Dating Violence is defined as the physical, sexual or psycho-emotional violence that can occur between teenager people in dating relationships (CDC, 2010, Children's Safety Network, 2012). Lavoie, Robitaille, & Hébert (2000) describe it as “any behaviour that is prejudicial to the partner’s development or health by compromising his or her physical, psychological, or sexual integrity” (p.8). TDV, by definition, is not equivalent to gender-based violence (GDV) because it focuses on a specific type of affective–loving relationship—dating—and does not exclusively concern violence against women. Violence against male and female partners within courtship occurs at a similar rate, while in marriage, women are the primary victims (Johnson, 1995; Archer, 2000; Anacona, 2008). TDV, however, is not immune to structural gender violence, an essential concept in considering the different causes, motives and expressions of violence between men and women, in which violence against women tends to be more severe. Despite the recognition that inequality between women and men and negative gender stereotypes are inextricably linked to gender based violence (GBV), studies examining violent attitudes/behaviours among adolescents and youth relating to GBV remain scarce, while those that do exist many times do not consider the gender dimension while examining such attitudes (Reed et al., 2010; Klein, 2006). Similarly, studies on dating violence which tend to focus on younger age groups often ignore the gender dimension of such violence.
Addressing TDV is important not only because of the violence itself but also because of the deep implications for health and wellbeing in adolescents; TDV is associated with a large number of gendered problems and risky behaviours. These include emotional and mood disorders, suicidal tendencies or substance abuse—predominantly in men—and changes to eating behaviours or risky sexual behaviours -more often in women-(Children's Safety Network, 2012; Banyard & Cross, 2008). In addition, TDV is linked to poorer educational outcomes, higher levels of expulsion from school, lower grades and less participation in extracurricular activities. Furthermore, it also has a serious long-term effect on intimate relationships and being one factor that predisposes one to gender violence and abuse in adulthood. In this sense, it is especially alarming that many adolescents consider physical and psychological aggressions normal practice for the resolution of conflicts and inherent in relationships (Anacona, 2008).
This study tries to quantify the TDV phenomenon in southern Spain and to identify the gendered patterns and justifications of TDV in heterosexual couples.
1. Procedure and participants This cross-sectional descriptive study applied probabilistic sampling via conglomerates to select seven secondary education centres (6 public and 1 subsidized) located in disadvantaged, rural, and suburban areas of south-eastern Spain (in the provinces of Almería and Granada). These areas are characterised by the settlement of families who immigrated for economic reasons; specifically, the foreign population exceeds 25% in these areas. To access the centres, we obtained the authorisation of the Department of Education. The directors of the centres authorised the data collection after obtaining parental permission. The project researchers applied the instrument to the students in their own classrooms in the presence of the teacher. The sample consisted of 611 high school students with previous heterosexual relationships. The sample exhibit a gender-balanced distribution with 311 girls and 300 boys. The age range was between 14 and 19 years old, the average age was 16.19 and the standard deviation (SD) of 1.11, being similar the mean (M) of boys (M= 16.25; SD= 1.09) and girls (M= 16.13; SD = 1.14). Regarding religion, the 64.60 % (395) of the participants practices Christian religion and the 11.62% (71) the Islamic religion. The participants who had not yet have a couple relationship were excluded from the study. 2. Method and instruments The questionnaire applied in this research included sociodemographic questions and 2 Likert scales that were validated for this specific context. The details are: 1. The Sociodemographic questions (5 items) about age, gender, religion and sentimental situation. 2. The scale of Psychological and Physical Violence (14 items). The Cronbach's α is .805. 3. The Scale on Justification of Violence and Sexism (Díaz-Aguado & Martin, 2014) formed by two sub-scales: a. The first consists of 5 items related to situations of abuse in the couple. The reliability of the scale is .732 (Cronbach's α). b. The second consists of 9 items related to the justification of violence and sexism. The Cronbach's α is .70. 3. Ethics The study was approved by the Bioethics Commission of the University of Almería, fulfilling all the ethical criteria of human research with minors in educational centers
• The incidence of TDV recorded in our study coincides with other recent studies that ranges it between 10% and 30%. • It can be highlighted that there is a gender similarity in the percentage of psychological and physical violent behaviours perpetrated by couples of both sexes. • Despite the similarities reported above, girls perpetrated more psychological violence in some aspects than boys, what is consistent with many other studies. The specific couple psychological behaviours that show significant gender differences are: men perceive greater anger from their partners when they receive text messages and when they talk about future plans, they also feel more criticized. Jealousy, fear of abandonment and, paradoxically, of commitment are more experienced by women. In contrast, females report being more controlled virtually by their partners. • The physical violence (pinching, pushing, pulling the hair and hitting) perpetrated against men is also slightly higher, but it is not statistically significant. This findings contradict studies that indicate women tend to face more severe forms of violence. • However, there are large gender differences (statistically significant) in the justification given for TDV. Men have a behavior very close to the traditional roles, defending some of the privileges that historically have been attributed to them. The 15.7% of men supports that "boys can date with many girls, but girls not”, 27.3% of men maintain that sometimes one must threaten others to demonstrate who is the boss and the 25.0% of men agree that when a woman is assaulted by her partner, she will have done something to provoke it. It shows that the gender ideology continues to privilege forms of traditional masculinity in Spanish adolescents, which are expected to be dominant. • It is necessary to carry out gendered educational strategies for channeling adolescent’s emotions in a non-violent way, while working to deconstruct a gender identity associated with privileges.
Anacona, C. (2008). Prevalencia, factores de riesgo y problemáticas asociadas con la violencia en el noviazgo: una revisión de la literatura. Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana, 26(2), 242-251. Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 651–680 Banyard, V. L., & Cross, C. (2008). Consequences of teen dating violence: Understanding intervening variables in ecological context. Violence Against Women, 14(9), 998-1013. Breiding, M. J. (2015). Prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization-national intimate partner and sexual violence survey, United States, 2011. American journal of public health, 105(4), 11. Cava, M.J., Buelga S. y Carrascosa L. (2015). Violencia física y psicológica ejercida en parejas adolescentes: relación con el autoconcepto y la violencia entre iguales. Behavioral Psychology, 23(3), 429-446. Children’s Safety Network, (. (2012). Teen Dating Violence as a Public Health Issue. Waltham: Children Safety Network. Education Development Center. Connolly, J. B. (2015). Adolescents' use of affiliative and aggressive strategies during conflict with romantic partners and best-friends. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12(5), 549-564. Díaz-Aguado, M. & Martin, J. (2014) Evolución de la Adolescencia Española en Igualdad y Prevención de la Violencia de Género en la Adolescencia. Madrid: Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios sociales e igualdad. Foshee, V. A., Benefield, T. S., Reyes, H. L., Ennett, S. T., Faris, R., Chang, L., & Suchindran, Y. (2013). The Peer Context and the Development of the Perpetration of Adolescent Dating Violence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(4). Johnson, M. P. (1995). Patriarchal terrorism and common couple violence: Two forms of violence against women. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 283–294. Lavoie, F., Robitaille, L., & Hébert, M. (2000). Teen Dating Relationships and Aggression: An exploratory study. Violence Against Women, 6(1), 6-36. doi: 10.1177/10778010022181688. Smokowski Pazos Gómez, M., Oliva Delgado, A. y Hernando Gómez, A. (2014). Violencia en relaciones de pareja de jóvenes y adolescentes. Revista latinoamericana de Psicología, 46(3), 148-159. Vagi, K. J., O’Malley, O. E., Basile, K. C., & Vivolo-Kantor, A. M. (2015). Teen dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students: Findings from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. JAMA Pediatrics, 149, 474–482. Walby, S., & Allen, J. (2004). Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office. Wincentak, K., Connolly, J., & Card, N. (2017). Teen dating violence: A meta-analytic review of prevalence rates. Psychology of violence, 7(2), 224.
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