Understanding dating violence
Understanding dating violence
Unlike adult IPV however, yes, both groups are dealing with the same issues EXCEPT our youth are at a disadvantage because of normal developmental delays.Teens are in a unique position compared to other age groups in that youth are not quite adults but are no longer a child and YET they are faced with situations that even adults find challenging to address affirms (2014).
Sexual interactions can encompass a variety of detrimental physical and mental consequences, especially if a teen is pressured or "forced to have sex" (which is rape), to the unwanted posting of sexually explicit photos, to sexting to threats to "spread rumors if the partner refuses to have sex." As teens simply do not have the years of maturity of an adult, a typical adolescent may be "less adept at utilizing positive relationship skills and more likely to use anger, physical aggression, and emotional abuse in conflict." Additionally, given the other developmental stresses of this phase, coupled with the abundance of information available instantaneously online, teens today may attempt to resolve matters on their own out of embarrassment and shame.It is well known that adolescence, the period in which a young person exits childhood and enters young adulthood, has been characterized as innately confusing and challenging, particularly the timeframe most associated with the teenage years.In fact, 1950s theorist, Erik Erikson, in his development of the "Eight Stages of Man" not only compartmentalized the journey from adolescence into adulthood across three stages: 1)childhood to adolescence (ages 12-18), 2)young adulthood (early 20s to late 20s) and 3)adulthood (late 20s to 50s) but he also identified the first stage, which takes place during the ages of 12-18, as "the most important period" as the adolescent commits to their sense of identity and "views of self." The predictable but dramatic physical and biological developmental changes endured by youth during this stage provide part of the explanation as to why this stage of life is more demanding.While TDV has no socio-economic barriers and can occur at any age, according to the CDC, and a majority of the research available, age 11 is identified as the universal age these abusive acts begin to occur. Every day in America, nearly one in two teenagers, or about half of all youth who are in a relationship feel they are "being threatened, pressured and/or controlled to do things they do not want to do." Approximately 72% of eighth and ninth graders are "dating" and more than half of all high school students report seeing TDV among their peers.Youth in high school (grades nine through twelve), found that of those they knew that had been in a relationship over the course of one year, 1 in 10 had encountered TDV.More than half of TDV survivors who are also raped are likely to attempt suicide.
Other consequences associated with TDV include low self-esteem and academic performance, eating disorders, and other adverse mental health outcomes. Research suggests that students with low academic performance are likely to engage in sexual activity.Similar to Adult Domestic Violence (ADV), females consistently and disproportionately represent survivors, with young women between the ages of 16-24, THREE TIMES more likely to encounter abuse.In fact, young women, between the ages of 16-20, have consistently experienced the highest rates of relationship violence, even when compared to adult women with acts classified as "severe dating violence" excessively affecting young women.The findings via Harvard conclude that the "human brain circuitry is not mature until the early 20's," and as such the emotional learning and high-level self-regulation" of teens differs greatly from that of adults as the last connections [in the teen brain] to be fully established are the links between the prefrontal cortex, seat of judgment and problem-solving.The under development of these links, also has correlations to addictive behavior.Research feedback shows that young men seem to have more difficulty sharing their TDV experience simply because "dating violence and abuse traditionally have been considered women's issues." Another piece of data that might provide additional insight regarding the behavior of TDV victims is that young people, as well as parents, have been unable to identify whether a behavior is TDV behavior, abusive and/or a warning sign.