Family and school socioeconomic disadvantage: Interactive influences on adolescent dating violence victimization


Spriggs, Aubrey L.; Halpern, Carolyn Tucker; Herring, Amy H.; & Schoenbach, Victor J. (2009). Family and school socioeconomic disadvantage: Interactive influences on adolescent dating violence victimization. Social Science and Medicine. vol. 68 (11) pp. 1956-1965 , PMCID: PMC2840622


Although low socioeconomic status has been positively associated with adult partner violence, its relationship to adolescent dating violence remains unclear. Further, few studies have examined the relationship between contextual disadvantage and adolescent dating violence, or the interactive influences of family and contextual disadvantage. Guided by social disorganization theory, relative deprivation theory, and gendered resource theory, we analyzed data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1994–1996) to explore how family and school disadvantage relate to dating violence victimization. Psychological and minor physical victimization were self-reported by adolescents in up to six heterosexual romantic or sexual relationships. Family and school disadvantage were based on a principal component analysis of soecioeconomic indicators reported by adolescents and parents. In weighted multilevel random effects models, between-school variability in dating violence victimization was proportionately small but substantive: 10% for male victimization and 5% for female victimization. In bivariate analyses, family disadvantage was positively related to victimization for both males and females; however, school disadvantage was only related to males' physical victimization. In models adjusted for race/ethnicity, relative age within the school, and mean school age, neither family nor school disadvantage remained related to males' victimization. For females, family disadvantage remained significantly positively associated with victimization, but was modified by school disadvantage: family disadvantage was more strongly associated with dating violence victimization in more advantaged schools. Findings support gendered resource theory, and suggest that status differentials between females and their school context may increase their vulnerability to dating violence victimization.



School Partner Violence

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Journal Article

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Social Science and Medicine


Spriggs, Aubrey L.
Halpern, Carolyn Tucker
Herring, Amy H.
Schoenbach, Victor J.

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