Revictimization After Adolescent Dating Violence in a Matched, National Sample of Youth

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Present address: Dr. Exner-Cortens is now with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
    Deinera Exner-Cortens
    Address correspondence to: Deinera Exner-Cortens, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada.
    1 Present address: Dr. Exner-Cortens is now with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
    Department of Human Development and Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
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  • John Eckenrode
    Department of Human Development and Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
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  • John Bunge
    Department of Statistical Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
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  • Emily Rothman
    Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Present address: Dr. Exner-Cortens is now with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



      To assess if adolescent dating violence was associated with physical intimate partner violence victimization in adulthood, using a comprehensive propensity score to create a matched group of victims and nonvictims.


      Secondary analysis of waves 1 (1994–1995), 2 (1996), 3 (2001–2002) and 4 (2007–2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a nationally representative sample of US high schools and middle schools. Individuals aged 12–18 reporting adolescent dating violence between the wave 1 and 2 interviews (n = 732) were matched to nonvictimized participants of the same sex (n = 1,429) using propensity score matching. These participants were followed up approximately 5 (wave 3) and 12 (wave 4) years later. At both follow-up points, physical violence victimization by a current partner was assessed. Data were analyzed using path models.


      Compared with the matched no victimization group, individuals reporting adolescent dating violence were more likely to experience physical intimate partner violence approximately 12 years later (wave 4), through the experience of 5-year (wave 3) victimization. This path held for males and females.


      Results from this sample matched on key risk variables suggest that violence first experienced in adolescent relationships may become chronic, confirming adolescent dating violence as an important risk factor for adult partner violence. Findings from this study underscore the critical role of primary and secondary prevention for adolescent dating violence.


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