Patterns of Dating Violence Across Adolescence

Publication Title

Qualitative Health Research

Publication Date


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adolescents, youth, at risk, interviews, relationships, primary partner, violence


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Adolescent dating violence (ADV) is a prevalent social and health problem associated with a number of adolescent risk behaviors and negative outcomes. The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of dating violence across adolescence. We used cross-case analysis to analyze interviews with 88 young adults (men and women aged 18 to 21) who were involved in violent dating relationships as teens. We identified four patterns of dating violence throughout adolescence. We also identified two patterns for adolescents who had only one violent relationship based on the length of the relationship–contained ADV and prolonged ADV–and two patterns for those who had multiple violent relationships based on the level of violence severity–repetitive ADV and escalating ADV. Knowledge of these four patterns can be used to guide therapeutic interactions with teens and to develop pattern-specific prevention and intervention strategies.