Lifetime Prevalence Rates and Overlap of Physical, Psychological, and Sexual Dating Abuse Perpetration and Victimization in a National Sample of Youth

Michele L. Ybarra, Dorothy L. Espelage, Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Josephine D Korchmaros, Danah Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


National, epidemiological data that provide lifetime rates of psychological, physical, and sexual adolescent data abuse (ADA) perpetration and victimization within the same sample of youth are lacking. To address this gap, data from 1058 randomly selected U.S. youth, 14–21 years old, surveyed online in 2011 and/or 2012, were weighted to be nationally representative and analyzed. In addition to reporting prevalence rates, we also examined the overlap of the six types of ADA queried. Results suggested that ADA was commonly reported by both male and female youth. Half (51 %) of female youth and 43 % of male youth reported victimization of at least one of the three types of ADA. Half (50 %) of female youth and 35 % of male youth reported at least one type of ADA perpetration. More male youth reported sexual ADA perpetration than female youth. More female youth reported perpetration of psychological and physical ADA and more reported psychological victimization than male youth. Rates were similar across race and ethnicity, but increased with age. This increase may have been because older youth spent longer time in relationships than younger youth, or perhaps because older youth were developmentally more likely than younger youth to be in abusive relationships. Many youth reported being both perpetrators and victims and/or involved in multiple forms of ADA across their dating history. Together, these findings suggested that interventions should acknowledge that youth may play multiple roles in abusive dyads. Understanding the overlap among ADA within the same as well as across multiple relationships will be invaluable to future interventions aiming to disrupt and prevent ADA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 20 2016



  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent dating abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Teen dating violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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