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There is considerable controversy regarding whether violence in teen dating relationships involves mutual aggression and indeed several studies report higher rates of inflicting violence for females (Foshee, 1996; Gray & Foshee, 1997; O'Keefe, 1997).Fundamental problems exist, however, in asserting gender parity regarding relationship violence.But for some teens, a dating partner can prove to be abusive rather than affectionate.Some teens become violent or abusive to exert power and control over a dating partner.Violence in teen dating relationships is alarmingly commonplace.It occurs in heterosexual and same-sex relationships and cuts across racial/ethnic and socio economic lines.
Data show that physical violence is more than three times as likely on days that alcohol is consumed compared to days with no drinking.
Moreover, the emotional consequences of the violence are more harmful for females than for males.
Further research is needed to enhance our understanding of adolescent dating violence including the nature of conflicts, as well as the meaning, context, intent, and consequences of the violence and the role of gender.
Most obvious is the greater physical harm that can be inflicted by male violence due to males' often greater size and strength.
Compared to boys, girls are more likely to sustain injuries and require medical treatment as a result of the violence (Makepeace, 1987).
Risk factors have been defined as "attributes or characteristics that are associated with an increased probability of [its] reception and/or expression" (Hotaling & Sugarman, 1990 p. Risk factors are correlates of dating violence and not necessarily causative factors.