Dating abuse among teens

SHCs reduce barriers to health care faced by adolescents, such as concerns about confidentiality, lack of health insurance, and limited knowledge of the health care system.

The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics of cyber dating abuse and how such abuse may be associated with other forms of ARA, nonpartner sexual violence victimization, and sexual and reproductive health risks among youth seeking care in SHCs.

Eleven SHCs in Northern California were randomly assigned to intervention or a delayed-intervention control condition.

Subsequent to randomization but before participant enrollment, 3 health centers (1 intervention, 2 control) withdrew from the study because of changes in school administrators who would not allow the SHCs to participate in research.

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Study procedures were approved by institutional review boards at Public Health Institute and the University of Pittsburgh and were reviewed by administrators at respective schools and SHCs. Single items assessed demographic characteristics, including gender, age, race, US nativity, relationship status, and sexual orientation.

Youth who chose not to participate reported not having enough time or being unavailable for the follow-up survey as the primary reason for nonparticipation.Understanding the prevalence and correlates of cyber dating abuse in this clinic-based sample may guide prevention and intervention efforts to reduce such abuse and improve adolescent health.Data are from a cross-sectional survey that served as baseline data for a cluster-randomized trial in SHCs to promote healthy relationships and reduce ARA (Clinical Trials.gov, identifier NCT01678378).Before the clinical encounter, youth used a laptop with headphones to complete a 15-minute audio computer-assisted survey about ARA and other forms of violence victimization, sexual behavior, and care seeking for sexual and reproductive health.Students received a gift card to thank them for their time.Analysis with female participants found an association between cyber dating abuse exposure and contraceptive nonuse (low: a OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.7; high: a OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.0–8.4) and reproductive coercion (low: a OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–6.2; high: a OR 5.7, 95% CI 2.8–11.6).

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