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Ten-Year Trends in Physical Dating Violence Victimization Among Adolescent Boys and Girls in British Columbia, Canada

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Author list: Douglas, Kevin S.
Publication year: 2018
ISSN: 0886-2605

Abstract

Physical dating violence (PDV) victimization among adolescents is a serious global problem. Although knowledge of trends in PDV victimization can help guide programming and health policies, little research has examined whether the prevalence of PDV victimization has increased, decreased, or remained stable over time among non-U.S.-based samples of youth. In addition, few studies have directly tested whether disparities in PDV victimization between boys and girls have narrowed, widened, or remained unchanged in recent years. To address these gaps, we used school-based data from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) of 2003, 2008, and 2013 (n boys = 18,441 and n girls = 17,459) to examine 10-year trends in PDV victimization. We also tested whether trends differed across self-reported sex. Data from the 2003 to 2013 BC AHS revealed that recent PDV victimization rates had significantly decreased among youth overall (5.9%-5.0%) and boys (8.0%-5.8%), but not girls (5.3%-4.2%). Although boys had steeper declines than girls in PDV victimization rates, year-by-sex interactions indicate that the sex gap in PDV victimization had not significantly narrowed. Moreover, rates of PDV victimization over the 10-year period indicated significantly higher rates of PDV victimization among boys compared with girls. Despite positive declines in recent rates of PDV victimization among youth, important differences in rates of PDV victimization between boys and girls remain. These findings underscore the need for greater attention to sex differences in research and programming and health policies to reduce PDV victimization and the sex disparities therein.


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