Abstract

Teen dating violence (TDV) is a widespread and harmful public health concern. The measurement of TDV has undergone some debate, with some researchers suggesting current measurement methods are suboptimal. The current study evaluates the use of cumulative assessments, a measurement method used previously in research on mental health and TDV victimization, to measure TDV perpetration. We hypothesized prevalence of frequency estimates of TDV perpetration would be higher when measured with cumulative assessments compared to a single report. Additionally, we hypothesized TDV perpetration measured cumulatively would more strongly relate to criterion variables than TDV perpetration measured with a single report. A sample of court-referred adolescents (n = 147, 14-17 years old) was recruited and invited into the lab for a baseline assessment, where they completed demographic questions and measures of criterion variables, including externalizing symptoms, exposure to community violence, and attitudes about dating. Adolescents were invited back to the lab for a 3-month follow-up assessment, where they reported on their TDV perpetration across the past 3 months. Between baseline and the 3-month follow-up, participants were contacted for phone interviews every 2-weeks and reported on their TDV perpetration in the past 2-weeks. All six phone interviews were aggregated to form a cumulative measure of TDV across the 3-month period. Results indicated the cumulative assessments of TDV evidenced greater prevalence for physical and emotional TDV compared to single reports, and greater frequency for all types of TDV compared to single reports. Furthermore, overall TDV was more strongly related to externalizing symptoms when measured cumulatively rather than with a single assessment, and sexual TDV was more strongly related to exposure to community violence when measured cumulatively rather than with a single assessment. Findings from the current study highlight the potential benefits of utilizing cumulative assessments in the measurement of TDV perpetration.

Degree Date

Winter 12-15-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Ernest N. Jouriles

Second Advisor

Renee McDonald

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Format

37

Available for download on Thursday, December 10, 2020

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