Controlling Behaviors as a Predictor of Partner Violence Among Heterosexual Female and Male Adolescents
This study investigates the prevalence of adolescent intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration, IPV victimization, and controlling behaviors among 486 heterosexual high school students. Participants completed surveys that measured three types of IPV victimization (sexual, physical, and psychological) and two types of controlling behaviors (intimidation and threats). Results reveal high prevalence of dating violence in youth: 46% emotional violence, 34% physical violence, and 16% sexual violence. Participants had a mean age of 15.7 years, 51% of the sample was male, and all participants were in a current relationship. Structural equation modeling explored the relationship between “violent attitudes” and “controlling behaviors” predicting IPV perpetration. The study found no gender differences between IPV perpetration and IPV victimization. However, gender differences were found regarding females’ IPV victimization being reduced when controlling behaviors are not present. Interestingly, IPV victimization is reduced by not having controlling behaviors and only having violent attitudes. The study posits that gender socialization may attribute to females reducing their IPV victimization when controlling behaviors are not present.