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As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships may contribute to negative consequences. Research focused on the consequences of teen dating violence have similar limitations as those focused on identifying risk factors for teen dating violence making it difficult to make causal connections between teen dating violence and certain outcomes. Despite limitations, correlational research suggests that victims of teen dating violence are more likely to

  • do poorly in school or not attend school due to feeling unsafe;1
  • report binge drinking, smoking, using drugs, or engaging in unhealthy diet behaviors, including taking diet pills or laxatives and vomiting to lose weight;2
  • become pregnant or have an STD;3
  • attempt suicide and report feelings of hopelessness and sadness;4
  • develop a negative body image and become uncomfortable with their sexuality;5
  • be overly dependent on others and not achieving independence;6 and
  • enter into violent adult relationships.7

Victims of teen dating violence may also find it very challenging to

  • establish intimacy with a partner;
  • become a positive member of society;
  • develop a personal value system; and
  • establish an adult identity.8

Abusers involved in teen dating violence create a pattern of behavior for themselves, which puts them at risk for ruining future relationships. In addition, perpetrators of teen dating violence may be more likely to bully and perpetrate violence against their peers.9 The earlier a problem is recognized, the sooner it can be addressed.

1 Davis, 2008; CDC, 2005
2 Silverman, Raj, Mucci, & Hathaway, 2001
3 Silverman, Raj, Mucci, & Hathaway, 2001; Decker, Silverman, & Raj, 2005
4 Howard, Yang, & Fan, 2009; CDC, 2005
5 CDC, 2005
6 CDC, 2005
7 Smith et al., 2002; CDC, 2005
8 CDC, 2005
9 Swahn et al., 2008


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