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Author Affiliations: Harvard Children's Initiative, Harvard University (Dr Silverman), Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health (Dr Raj), Bureau of Health Statistics, Research, and Evaluation (Ms Mucci), and Bureau of Family and Community Health (Dr Hathaway), Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston.Dr Silverman is now with the Division of Public Health Practice and Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

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Results Approximately 1 in 5 female students (20.2% in 1997 and 18.0% in 1999) reported being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

After controlling for the effects of potentially confounding demographics and risk behaviors, data from both surveys indicate that physical and sexual dating violence against adolescent girls is associated with increased risk of substance use (eg, cocaine use for 1997, odds ratio [OR], 4.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-9.6; for 1999, OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.7-6.7), unhealthy weight control behaviors (eg, use of laxatives and/or vomiting [for 1997, OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.8-5.5; for 1999, OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.2-6.5]), sexual risk behaviors (eg, first intercourse before age 15 years [for 1997, OR, 8.2; 95% CI, 5.1-13.4; for 1999, OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.4-4.2]), pregnancy (for 1997, OR, 6.3; 95% CI, 3.4-11.7; for 1999, OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.9-7.8), and suicidality (eg, attempted suicide [for 1997, OR, 7.6; 95% CI, 4.7-12.3; for 1999, OR, 8.6; 95% CI, 5.2-14.4]).

Conclusion Dating violence is extremely prevalent among this population, and adolescent girls who report a history of experiencing dating violence are more likely to exhibit other serious health risk behaviors.

indicate that more than 1.5 million women are physically and/or sexually abused by an intimate partner each year in the United States, and 25% will experience IPV at some point during their lifetimes.

Research among adults has shown that younger age is a consistent risk factor for experiencing and perpetrating IPV.

However, no representative epidemiologic studies of lifetime prevalence of physical and sexual dating violence experienced by adolescents have been conducted to provide a reliable estimate of the scope of the problem, indicate which groups of adolescents may be at greatest risk, or assess whether other health risks faced by adolescents are associated with a history of IPV.females are approximately 10 times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than are males.However, no representative epidemiologic studies of lifetime prevalence of dating violence among adolescents have been conducted.Objective To assess lifetime prevalence of physical and sexual violence from dating partners among adolescent girls and associations of these forms of violence with specific health risks.Design, Setting, and Participants Female 9th through 12th-grade students who participated in the 19 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (n = 19, respectively).Main Outcome Measures Lifetime prevalence rates of physical and sexual dating violence and whether such violence is independently associated with substance use, unhealthy weight control, sexual risk behavior, pregnancy, and suicidality.