Adolescent Dating Violence: A Comprehensive Review
Authors: Anuja Bandyopadhyay, Amit Deokar and Hatim A Omar
Abstract: Adolescent dating violence is a health and social problem, worldwide. The objective of this review was to identify the risk factors and consequences of dating violence, assess the prevention measures taken to increase awareness regarding it and provide an overview of the screening and interventional tools used to support the teens involved in dating violence. Methods: A review of the literature, published in the last 29 years, was conducted and the content was critically analyzed. Conclusions: There is an increasing trend of dating violence in a younger population. Consistent definitions, comprehensive assessment tools and focused screening are required to assess the actual prevalence of dating violence. Dating history, context of the date, peer influence, prior history of abuse, alcohol and drugs have been identified as significant risk factors for dating violence. Dating violence has acute as well as long term effects on the body and mind. Since, victims may not report it or even may not identify dating violence as a hazard, the responsibility of screening for it lies heavily on health care providers. Interventional measures should be implemented in a non-judgmental manner, giving due importance to the safety of the adolescents. Primary prevention programs are the key feature to reduce dating violence and require the co-operative participation of several components of the community including school personnel, health care providers, parents and the youth.