Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 2360–2376 | Cite as

Trajectories of Dating Violence Victimization and Perpetration among Rural Adolescents

  • Natallia SiankoEmail author
  • Deborah Kunkel
  • Martie P. Thompson
  • Mark A. Small
  • James R. McDonell
Empirical Research


Research is inconclusive about the trajectory of dating violence during adolescence and whether there are differences across gender and race/ethnicity. We examined dating victimization and perpetration trajectories among a diverse sample of rural youth (N = 580, 52.7% female, 49% Black, 39% White, 11% Hispanic or other minorities) in middle and high school who were surveyed annually across four years and explored the influences of gender and ethnicity. The results based on cohort-sequential latent growth modeling revealed that for boys, victimization peaked at 11th grade, and then declined. For girls, victimization was stable throughout adolescence. Perpetration was reported less frequently and increased steadily for males and females. For White youth, victimization peaked at grades 9 and 10, followed by a decline. For Black youth, victimization followed a linear increase. Perpetration trajectory followed a linear increase for White and Black but not Hispanic youth. The findings indicate that the developmental progression of dating violence during adolescence varies by demographics. The discussion focuses on future directions for research on teen dating violence among rural youth and implications for prevention and interventions initiatives.


Adolescent dating violence Rural youth Victimization and perpetration trajectories Cohort-sequential design 


Authors’ Contributions

N.S. conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and wrote the manuscript with support from all authors; D.K. conducted statistical analyses, participated in interpretation of results and designed the figures; M.P.T. provided critical revisions of the manuscript, participated in the design and provided logical suggestions; M.A.S. helped to draft the introduction and conclusion sections; J.R.M. is the principal investigator of the study, and participated in its design and coordination. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This research was sponsored by Grant 5R01HD0607505 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. PI: J.R.M.

Data Sharing and Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Clemson University Institutional Review Board, protocol number is IRB2011-065) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. No identifiable information from participants were included in the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal JusticeClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.School of Mathematical and Statistical SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  4. 4.Institute on Family and Neighborhood LifeClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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