Dating Violence & Substance Abuse in Adolescents

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Dating Violence & Substance Abuse in Adolescents

The purpose of this literature review is to look at the relationship between dating violence and substance abuse in adolescents, substance abuse & exposure being the independent variable, and teen dating violence being the negative outcome (dependent).

History & Main Problem

Adolescence tends to be a developmental period, which leads teenagers to first dating behavior experiences to begin and they start experimenting with alcohol/drugs. Teen dating violence is one of our major health problems. Adolescent dating violence can be physical , sexual or emotional, which also includes controlling behavior. Research shows that there is a lot of association in alcohol use and the experiences of physical & verbal dating violence. In order to under the association, we need to look at the lifestyle theory, which shows that during social activities, teenagers put themselves in higher risk situation and more exposure to offenders (Parker, Debnam, Pas & Bradshaw, 2016). Abusing alcohol is a big risk factor for teen dating violence victimization. It is important to consider the connection between substance abuse and adolescent dating violence because of the serious consequences for teens who engage in those type of behaviors.

Research shows that when there is heavy alcohol and hard drug levels are being elevated then physical dating violence perpetration increases. The link between between substance use and physical dating violence reflects from different types of substance uses and social control, meaning that social contextual variables increase risk of influence on tendency of adolescent aggression (Reyes, Foshee, Tharp, Ennett & Bauer, 2015).


Data shows adolescents who use alcohol & drugs are more likely to carry out dating violence that same day than adolescent who do not. Partners of adolescents who used alcohol & drugs, were more likely to experience victimization. (Matson, Chung, Grieb, Rothman, Huettner, & Bair-Merritt, 2016).

Prevalence of substance use & dating violence.

Prevalence rates of adolescent dating violence varies depending on a study. Research shows that rates of physical violence can range between 10% and 20%, with rates of monitoring, emotional violence and controlling behavior being a lot higher. (Baker, 2016) Adding dating violence prevalence.

Adolescents' Use of Prescription Drugs

According to National Survey, it has been reported 3% to 4% adolescents in the ages of 12 and 17 used nonprescription psycho-therapeutics coming from 6 year data collection. Based on the results of the study containing all alcohol and drug variables are highly connected with dating violence victimization. There is reason to believe that these substances are generally associated with interpersonal aggression. Those adolescents who are interested in the risky act of taking non-medical prescription drugs are more inclined to act on other risky behaviors leading to dating violence, such as sexual risk and alcohol use. (Temple, Jeff, Freeman & Daniel, 2011). Use of alcohol, cocaine and sedatives leads to severe dating violence aggression.

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Dating Violence & Substance Abuse in Adolescents. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved February 25, 2024 , from

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