Date of Award

12-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Social Work

Major Professor

John S. Wodarski

Committee Members

William R. Nugent, Catherine N. Dulmus, Marcus L. Ambrester

Abstract

Empirical studies of adolescent dating violence have mainly focused on changing attitudes and knowledge levels. These studies are mostly conducted in mixed gender classroom settings. Results from these studies do not provide knowledge of which psychological/social (psychosocial) problems co-occur with dating violence in at-risk adolescent populations. The current study provides exploratory information related to dating violence in adolescent pregnancy termination patients, a subset of the population virtually ignored by the adolescent literature. In this study, 120 adolescent pregnancy termination patients ages 14 through 21 completed the Conflict in Adolescent Relationships Inventory (CADRI) and the Multi-dimensional Adolescent Assessment Scale (MAAS). Linear regression equations indicate that seven of the psychosocial problems measured by the MAAS are significantly associated with dating violence in this sample: depression, problems with self-esteem, guilt, risk of suicide, personal stress confused thinking and disturbing thoughts. The overall dating violence scores were divided into two groups at the median into a lower dating violence group and a higher dating violence group. A discriminant analysis (DA) was conducted to determine whether or not scores on the MAAS subscales could be used to predict dating violence group involvement in this sample. The discriminant function was not significant and the eigenvalue was low indicating that lower or higher dating violence group membership could not be predicted using subscale scores on the MAAS. Implications for practice, policy and research are discussed.

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