Fear in Adolescent Dating Relationships

Published in: Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, v. 17, no. 2, 2008, p. 245-261

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Dana Schultz, Lisa H. Jaycox

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The aims of this study were to assess fearful and aversive aspects of dating relationships among teens and to examine those experiences by gender. The authors examined both survey data and cognitive interviews with teens to understand how teens experience their dating relationships and how they interpret the meaning of the items in a fear measure modified for use with teens. The authors found that fearful and aversive dating situations are common in adolescent dating relationships. As teens move along the continuum from friendships to romantic involvement, both boys and girls experience the aggressive and coercive behaviors that sometimes accompany these new emotional and interpersonal situations.

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