Cross-gender perpetration and victimization among early adolescents and associations with attitudes toward dating conflict

This study examined gender differences in cross-gender violence perpetration and victimization (ranging from mild, e.g., push, to severe, e.g., assault with a knife or gun) and attitudes toward dating conflict, among an urban sample of 601 early adolescents (78% African-American). Comparisons across gender groups for cross-gender (e.g., female-to-male) violence perpetration and victimization indicated higher levels of perpetration for girls and higher levels of victimization for boys. Girls also reported higher levels of verbal and physical violence toward partners with regard to attitudes toward dating conflict. A path model was specified and indicated that cross-gender violence perpetration, harsh parenting, peer deviance, low family income, and neighborhood hazards accounted for significant variation in attitudes toward dating conflict. Findings were discussed regarding the need to identify developmental precursors of dating violence in early adolescence and to focus prevention efforts on components (e.g., social skills, coping strategies) necessary to prevent the onset and escalation of adolescent dating violence.
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Journal of Youth and Adolescence
A developmental ecological model was used to examine associations between cross-gender (e.g., female-to-male) violence and attitudes toward dating conflict among 601 fifth grade students. A path model was used to identify multi-variable influences that may predict attitudes toward dating conflict among early adolescents. Girls were more likely than boys to perpetrate cross-gender violence and reported more hostile attitudes toward dating conflict. Those who reported cross-gender victimization stated that they would be more likely to use coercive and abusive methods to resolve conflicts. Boys were more likely to report cross-gender victimization. Parenting, peer, and neighborhood factors contribute to cross-gender violence, but differences were reported between genders. Parental harsh discipline, neighborhood hazards, and lower family income were more significant predictors for boys. Implications for practice included: prevention efforts that target both genders during early adolescence, reduction of disruptive behaviors, and social skills and cognitive-behavioral training to promote prosocial responses to anger.
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adolescent/high school, perpetration, prevention
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