The present study examines whether being a victim of violence by an adult in the household, witnessing intra-familial physical violence, and feeling unsafe at school are associated with physical dating violence victimization. It also examines whether extracurricular activity involvement and perceived care by parents, teachers, and friends attenuate those relationships, consistent with a stress-buffering model. Participants were 75,590 ninth-and twelfth-grade students (51% female, 77% White, 24% receiving free/reduced price lunch) who completed the 2010 Minnesota Student Survey. Overall, 8.5% of students reported being victims of dating violence. Significant differences were found by gender, grade, ethnicity, and free/reduced price lunch status. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that being a victim of violence by an adult in the household, witnessing intra-familial physical violence, feeling unsafe at school, and low perceived care by parents were strongly associated with dating violence victimization. Associations of moderate strength were found for low perceived care by teachers and friends. Little to no extracurricular activity involvement was weakly associated with dating violence victimization. Attenuating effects of perceived care and extracurricular activity involvement on associations between risk factors (victimization by a family adult, witnessing intra-familial violence, feeling unsafe at school) and dating violence victimization were smaller in magnitude than main effects. Findings are thus more consistent with an additive model of risk and protective factors in relation to dating violence victimization than a stress-buffering model. Health promotion efforts should attempt to minimize family violence exposure, create safer school environments, and encourage parental involvement and support.
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© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.
- dating violence
- school safety
- social support