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Risk factors for dating violence versus cohabiting violence: Results from the third generation of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development


Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 26(4): 229-239
Risk factors for dating violence versus cohabiting violence: Results from the third generation of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development
Dating violence is an important problem. Evidence suggests that women are more likely to perpetrate dating violence. The present study investigates the prevalence of dating violence compared with cohabiting violence in a community sample of men and women and assesses to what extent child and adolescent explanatory factors predict this behaviour. A secondary aim is to construct a risk score for dating violence based on the strongest risk factors. The Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development is a prospective longitudinal survey of 411 men (generation 2) born in the 1950s in an inner London area. Most recently, their sons and daughters [generation 3 (G3)] have been interviewed regarding their perpetration of dating and cohabiting violence, utilising the Conflict Tactics Scale. Risk factors were measured in four domains (family, parental, socio-economic and individual). A larger proportion of women than men perpetrated at least one act of violence towards their dating partner (36.4 vs 21.7%). There was a similar pattern for cohabiting violence (39.6 vs 21.4%). A number of risk factors were significantly associated with the perpetration of dating violence. For G3 women, these included a convicted father, parental conflict, large family size and poor housing. For G3 men, these included having a young father or mother, separation from the father before age 16, early school leaving, frequent truancy and having a criminal conviction. A risk score for both men and women, based on 10 risk factors, significantly predicted dating violence. Risk factors from four domains were important in predicting dating violence, but they were different for G3 men and women. It may be important to consider different risk factors and different risk assessments for male compared with female perpetration of dating violence. Early identification and interventions are recommended. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Accession: 058778377

PMID: 27709744

DOI: 10.1002/cbm.2017



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