Teen violence and bullying is one of the biggest topics of discussion these days, and now a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows a link between dating abuse and other types of bullying. The report says that nearly one-fifth of high school students have abused their boyfriend or girlfriend, and those same students were also likely to have abused their peers and siblings.
In 2008, researchers polled 1,398 high school students at 22 schools in Boston, and more than 41 percent said they had hurt another person at least one time in the previous month. Of those students, 31.2 percent said they had physically abused their siblings, and almost 19 percent said they'd abused someone they were dating.
Physical abuse was defined as pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, and/or choking, although 42.8 percent also admitted to verbally abusing others using curse words or insults like "fat," "ugly," or "stupid."
So what does this mean? Well, the research shows a link between the abuse of dating partners to the abuse of other students, especially among boys. Twenty-seven percent of the abusive teens were male, while 10 percent were female.
"This study supports the idea that we should go to those kids who are being violent with siblings and peers and address their violent behavior in general," said Emily F. Rothman, the study's lead author, who is also an associate professor at the Boston University School of Public Health.
If one type of abuse is happening, it's likely that other forms of it are ocurring, too, and by using this information, researchers may be able to find ways to reduce abusive behavior. What do you think of the study's findings? Do you know someone who has been abusive to their boyfriend, girlfriend or siblings? %Poll-56636%