Contextual Risk Profiles and Trajectories of Adolescent Dating Violence Perpetration
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Social ecological and developmental system perspectives suggest that interactions among factors within and across multiple contexts (e.g., neighborhood, peer, family) must be considered in explaining dating violence perpetration. Yet, to date, most extant research on dating violence has focused on individual, rather than contextual predictors, and used variable-centered approaches that fail to capture the configurations of factors that may jointly explain involvement in dating violence. The current study used a person-centered approach, latent profile analysis, to identify key configurations (or profiles) of contextual risk and protective factors for dating violence perpetration across the neighborhood, school, friend and family contexts. We then examine the longitudinal associations between these contextual risk profiles, assessed during middle school, and trajectories of psychological and physical dating violence perpetration across grades 8 through 12. Five contextual risk profiles were identified: school, neighborhood, and family risk; school and family risk; school and friend risk; school and neighborhood risk; and low risk. The highest levels of psychological and physical perpetration across grades 8 through 12 were among adolescents in the profile characterized by high levels of school, neighborhood, and family risk. Results suggest that early interventions to reduce violence exposure and increase social regulation across multiple social contexts may be effective in reducing dating violence perpetration across adolescence.
KeywordsAdolescents Contextual risk Latent profile analysis Dating violence Developmental trajectory
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Ethical approval for the parent study and analyses conducted for the current manuscript was provided by the non-biomedical Institutional Review Board at UNC Chapel Hill in accordance with federal regulations governing human subject research. All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individuals who participated in the parent study that provided the data used in the analyses reported in the current manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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