ORLANDO, Fla. — About 33 percent of adolescents in the United States are victims of sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse. But what kind of effects do these tumultuous relationships have down the road?
About one in every three young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Now a new study shows dating violence might impact your health in unexpected ways.
Researchers asked 585 college-aged students to take an online survey. Results showed girls who experienced sexual or physical dating violence between ages 13 to 19 were more likely to smoke, have symptoms of depression, have an eating disorder, and have more sexual partners. Boys and girls who experienced non-physical dating violence, such as verbal abuse over text message, were more likely to smoke and have eating disorders.
Recognizing abuse can be tricky. Some warning signs: your teen always apologizes for their partner’s behavior, they lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, they become more isolated, your teen’s partner has a temper or acts very jealous and controlling, or your child have unexplained injuries. Get involved and get help if you’re worried. Remember the effects may last a lifetime.
If you’re concerned that your child is in an abusive relationship, you can contact the National Dating Abuse Hotline for help. The number is 866-331-9474.
Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.