Dating violence among high school students

PDV victimization was defined as a response of "yes" to a single question: "During the past 12 months, did your boyfriend or girlfriend ever hit, slap, or physically hurt you on purpose?

" Students were not asked whether they had had a boyfriend or girlfriend during the 12 months preceding the survey; therefore, a response of "no" might have included students who had not been dating.

YRBS, a component of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, measures the prevalence of health risk behaviors among high school students through biennial national, state, and local surveys.

The 2003 national survey obtained cross-sectional data representative of public- and private-school students in grades 9–12 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data from 15,214 students in 158 schools were available for analysis; 14,956 (98.3%) students answered the dating violence question.

There were 631 respondents from suburban, rural, and inner-city schools.

Prevalences of the five risk behaviors among all participants were as follows: currently sexually active, 34.3%; attempted suicide, 8.5%; current cigarette use, 21.9%; episodic heavy drinking, 28.3%; and physical fighting, 33.0%.

Differences in prevalence among persons with certain characteristics were determined statistically significant if the 95% confidence intervals did not overlap.

Adjusted odds ratios were calculated to examine the association between PDV victimization and the five risk behaviors using a multivariable logistic regression model that included, as predictors, the five risk behaviors and sex, grade level, race/ethnicity, and self-reported grades.

Dating violence is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological violence within a dating relationship.

In a study of dating violence victimization among students in grades 7–12 during 1994–1995, the 18-month prevalence of victimization from physical and psychological dating violence was estimated at 12% and 20%, respectively.

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