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Forms of Victimization: Dating Violence in Adolescent Relationships Associated with Depressive Symptoms

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Forms of Victimization: Dating Violence in Adolescent Relationships Associated with Depressive Symptoms

Emely Alas

University of Houston-Downtown

        Depression is a negative issue that varies throughout distinct variations among psychological as well as health literature associated to that of dating violence among adolescents. This is a real issue that must be taken into consideration as there are many adolescents engaging in various forms of sexual risk behavior due to depressive symptoms as well as other correlated negative factors. What they have found in this particular study is that depression plays an important role in that of engaging in sexual activity as well as reporting using condom inconsistency as it also undermines ones health by simply not caring of one’s own wellbeing. It can be related to sexual risk by reducing self-efficacy of condom use (Rizzo, Hunter, Lang, Oliveira, Donenberg, Diclemente, & Brown, 2011). Although this particular study is related mostly to that of sexual risk behavior there are other forms of research conducted on the topic of depression through various forms of victimization such as the victim and the perpetrator within a violent relationship. Not taking into account that depression is a major factor of dating violence can be very damaging to adolescents that expose themselves to a relationship they would deem as loving to one that is toxic to one’s mental and physical health. As there are other factors contributing to risk factors that have been identified in other types of violence perpetration (Vagi, Rothman, Latzman, Tharp, Hall, & Breiding, (2013).

        Although this issue is important in adolescents ranging from ages 13-18 who are faced with early exposure to violence and the formation of close intimate relationships there is little empirical evidence regarding that of gender differences and their probability of being part of intimate partner violence. This lack of empirical evidence has been brought upon researcher’s attention of the lack of equal samples between males and females, there is evidence of relationship violence in both studies (Godbout, Daspe, Lussier, Sabourin, Dutton, & Hébert, 2017). Such as in Godbout et al. (2009) study suggest that in their integrative model, Lee et al. (2014) found that parent to child physical violence was related to anxious and attachment avoidance only in young women unlike their small sample of men which  called for further study. It was found that attachment anxiety was associated with relationship violence among women and men (Lee, Reese-Weber, & Kahn, 2014).

Males and females experience a multitude of related depressive and other various symptoms due to that of engaging in a violent intimate relationship, reasons of why more empirical research must be done in this particular are to uncover if there is a real difference among genders or if they are similar to one another. Relating to that of gender differences there is a particular study that examines dating violence perpetration and victimization among adolescents and if there was a specific predictor among adolescents gender and in this case ethnicity as well (Shorey, Fite, Choi, Cohen, Stuart, & Temple, 2015). Shorey and his colleagues (2015) suggest that factors such as substance use which leads to depressive symptoms, and age predict risky behavior leading to dating violence in an ethnically diverse sample of male and female. A limitation of this particular study is the fact that it only included three ethnically diverse samples such as Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic male and female adolescents within a 1year period follow-up. It is clear that in this study it is not equally diverse between other ethnic samples and there should be more empirical research in this particular area to have a larger diverse ethnic sample to be able to detect differences among other ethnicities. It is quite clear that gender differences is an issue in most studies correlating to that of dating violence within adolescents, as gender could have been a controlled variable, but it did not allow for a detailed understanding of the potential differences between males and females (Rizzo et al., 2011). There are distinctions between both genders as it has been concluded that women tend to report higher rates of dating violence than males although it cannot be concluded that females and males are equally affected.

Literature on the Forms of Victimization due to Depression

There has been a great deal of literature regarding that of dating violence among adolescents and the contributing factors that associate to engage in such behavior pertaining that of being victimized and the causes of being victimized. As it examines the relationship between health and the experience of two types of victimization within this study such as physical/sexual and non-physical dating violence within adolescents (Bonomi, Anderson, Nemeth, Rivara, & Buettner, 2013). It also included new forms of dating violence and abuse having to do more with adolescent’s today regarding to that of the rapid expansion of technology which included harassment/ stalking through text messages and email. Depression played a key role in females who experienced physical/sexual abuse leading to other rick depressive symptoms such as disordered eating, substance/drug use and high increase of sexual counters with multiple partners. While males who were exposed to physical/ sexual abuse had a higher risk of disorder eating problems compared to that of females who tended to have a higher risk of depressive symptoms (Bonomi et al., 2013). Gender tended to have a major effect regarding that of the study’s findings suggesting that because of the small sample of males there was no significant association between the experience of dating violence victimization and the health indicators measured in the study. This also leads to suggest that females tend to be more involved in dating violence as bot the perpetrator and the victim which include negative consequences associated with it (Chiodo, Crooks, Wolfe, Mcisaac, Hughes & Jaffe 2011). As it had been previously stated it has been concluded that females who have been in physically aggressive relationships have many elevated health related risks ranging from depression, anxiety, substance/drug abuse, having difficulty in school and engaging in more high risk sexual behaviors. Although this particular study only consisted of females being assessed in a longitudinal study. The purpose was to explore the differences among the forms of victimization associated with predictors and correlates. Predictors involving child maltreatment, parental rejection, delinquency youth, peer relational aggression and sexual harassment (Chiodo et al., 2011)

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