OBJECTIVE: This study examines the association between having a history of dating violence and the sexual health of adolescent females. METHODS: Black adolescent females (n = 522) completed a survey that assessed dating violence, defined as ever having a physically abusive boyfriend, and an interview that assessed sexual behaviors. RESULTS: Dating violence was reported by 18.4% of adolescents (n = 96). Adolescents with a history of dating violence were, in the past 6 months, 2.8 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, 2.8 times more likely to have nonmonogamous male partners, and half as likely to use condoms consistently. Furthermore, adolescents with a history of dating violence were significantly more likely to fear the perceived consequences of negotiating condom use (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8); fear talking with their partner about pregnancy prevention (OR = 2.6); have a higher perceived risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (OR = 2.1); perceive less control over their sexuality (OR = 2.4); have peer norms nonsupportive of using condoms (OR = 3.1); and have norms nonsupportive of having a healthy relationship (OR = 2.1). CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents who have experienced dating violence are more likely to exhibit a spectrum of unhealthy sexual behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and norms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health