Dating Violence in Adolescent Relationships
During the adolescent developmental stage, an individual begins to experience various physical, social, and emotional changes. At times, the effect of these various changes can cause an adolescent to become more vulnerable to risk taking behaviors and exposure to violence. Additionally, adolescents also begin to explore relationships outside of their family of origin including developing relationships with peers and pursuing dating relationships. According to Sutherland (2011), one in five adolescents reported having a boyfriend or girlfriend in the fifth grade and more than half of a group of sixth graders surveyed reported having a girlfriend or boyfriend within the last three months. These data reveal a significant number of adolescents become involved in dating relationships. With such a high number of adolescents in dating relationships, it is important to understand how these early dating experiences may influence shaping their views of intimate relationships and their behavior in future adult intimate relationships (Sutherland, 2011).
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