Violent relationships may be more common among teenagers than we like to think, and the psychological and behavioral fallout from that violence appears to last for a significant amount of time.
A new study published by Deinera Exner-Cortens in the Pediatrics journal looked at more than 5,000 teenagers in the United States and asked them whether or not they were in a violent relationship.
Twenty percent of respondents (male and female) reported psychological violence within their relationship, while 10 percent of females and 8 percent of males noted the violence was both psychological and physical.
“Ten percent of females and 8 percent of males noted
the violence was both psychological and physical.”
Five years after this initial survey was conducted, Exner-Cortens returned to her respondents to see whether or not their teenage trauma impacted their adult relationships. She found teens that experienced violent relationships were between two to three times more likely to enter into violent relationships as adults.
While women tended to be on the receiving end of negative power imbalances within their relationships, both men and women suffered lasting damage from their violent teen relationships, though that damage manifested itself in different ways.
Women were more likely to indulge in dangerous activities, including smoking and excessive drinking. Women were also more likely to feel depressed or suicidal, especially in response to their relationships.
Men were also likely to feel suicidal, but they were also more likely to engage in delinquent activities and indulge in anti-social behavior.
Source: Pediatrics journal.