Dating violence is a school and college health issue.As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences.Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships may contribute to negative consequences.These include the ability to manage and regulate strong emotions, conflict negotiation skills, and how to develop and maintain intimate relationships.In the past, teen romances have been considered relatively unimportant because they are short-lived and seemingly unstable.It is epidemic in occurrence and has short and long-term effects on teen relationships.Teens are exposed to violence in many different ways.
The above information is courtesy of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation of Australia.About 20% of both girls and boys said they experienced only psychological violence; 2% of girls and 3% of boys said just physical. When researchers analyzed data from the same young adults five years later, they found notable differences:• Girls victimized by a teen boyfriend reported more heavy drinking, smoking, depression and thoughts of suicide.• Boys who had been victimized reported increased anti-social behaviors, such as delinquency, marijuana use and thoughts of suicide.• Those of both sexes who were in aggressive relationships as teens were two to three times more likely to be in violent relationships as young adults.The data did not specifically address why many of the negative outcomes were different for boys and girls, or explain the conditions that led to revictimization, says Deinera Exner-Cortens, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at Cornell University."We know that girls are more likely to experience more severe physical violence, sexual violence and injury, and they report more fear around their aggressive dating experiences," she says.The average American teen spends more than 70 hours a week with some form of media (Internet, television, and video games, etc.), and a growing body of research indicates that high doses of media violence can compromise learning and increase aggressive behaviors.An additional concern is that adolescence is the time when the hidden epidemic of dating abuse begins.Welcome to Do Something.org, a global movement of 5.5 million young people making positive change, online and off!