To determine the longitudinal effect of abuse by an intimate partner on risk behavior among adolescents.
Design and Participants
Linear regression analyses of longitudinal data from 4443 adolescents surveyed in 1995 (Wave I) and 1996 (Wave II) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Public Use Dataset.
Main Outcome Measures
Abuse was assessed using a 5-point scale measuring if the subject had been insulted in public, sworn at, threatened with violence, pushed or shoved, or had something thrown at them by an intimate partner. The primary outcome measures were changes between Waves I and II in each of the following 5-risk behaviors: illicit substance use, antisocial behavior, violent behavior, suicidal behavior, and depression.
Abuse between Waves I and II was associated with higher rates of all 5 risk behaviors at both Waves I and II among both sexes. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, number of intimate partners, time between interviews, baseline risk behavior scores, and the most abusive relationship experienced prior to Wave I, more severe abuse having occurred between Waves I and II was significantly associated with increased levels of depression in both sexes and increased involvement in illicit substance use, antisocial behavior, and suicidal behavior among female adolescents.
Abuse by an intimate partner is associated with higher levels of risk behavior in both sexes and incident abuse is associated with increased depression in both sexes and increased illicit substance use, antisocial behavior, and suicidal behavior among females. Intimate partner violence interventions should address the negative behaviors associated with abuse, particularly among female adolescents.