Abstract: Factors Associated with Severe Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Victimization Among Adolescents in Chinese Societies (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

458P Factors Associated with Severe Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Victimization Among Adolescents in Chinese Societies

Saturday, January 19, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Shih-Ying Cheng, MSW, Doctoral Student, Washington University in Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
April Chiung-Tao Shen, PhD, Professor, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, Professor, Washington University in Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
Background: Accumulating evidence suggests a strong association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and adverse physical, sexual, mental health consequences, and even death. Adolescence is considered a critical stage in the development of beliefs and behaviors that may give rise to later IPV in adult relationships. Specifically, adolescents’ intimate relationships play an important role in one’s development of identity, autonomy, and attitudes toward sex roles. While researchers have developed a research portfolio for IPV among adolescents in western societies, this topic remains understudied in Chinese societies. Few studies have examined factors associated with the prevalence of IPV perpetration and victimization among Chinese adolescents, and, to date, no published studies examine factors associated with more severe IPV. The current study helps address this gap.

Methods: This study used data from a large study (n=3,138) of middle and high school adolescents from school lists in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The random sample was first stratified by school and then stratified by class. A total of 42 schools participated in this study. The present analysis was limited to the subsample of 976 adolescents that reported dating experience. The parent study (Shen et al., 2012) used the Dating Violence Scale (Shen, 2008) to measure IPV and the current study contrasts this scale with the Danger Assessment (Campbell, 2009) to recategorize violent acts into severe IPV (6 items) and moderate IPV (9 item). A code for zero (none IPV), one (moderate IPV), or two (severe IPV) was assigned according to the participant’s self-reported IPV victimization. Predictors examined included demographic, dating experiences (including the use of IPV), academic performance, gender stereotype attitude, and depression. Multivariate multinomial logistic analysis was performed in STATA 15.0. The cluster-robust standard errors were estimated to address the clustering effects from schools.

Results: Results revealed that about 20% and 15%, respectively, of the participants experienced moderate or severe IPV in their current or most recent intimate relationship. When comparing with participants without any IPV victimization experience, participants who had experienced severe IPV victimization were more likely to start dating prior to age 13 (RRR=1.84 [1.07, 3.17]) and more likely to report perpetrating IPV themselves (RRR=26.61 [13.86, 51.11]). Their relationships were more likely to involve sex (RRR=2.19 [1.10, 4.36]) and were more likely to have had ended recently—the risk was slightly greater for teens who ended a relationship 1-5 months ago (RRR=2.58 [1.30, 5.10]) than teens who ended a relationship 6 and above months prior (RRR=2.08 [1.13, 3.85]). When compared to participants with moderate IPV victimization experiences, participants who experienced severe IPV victimization reported a higher level of depression (RRR=1.06 [1.01, 1.11]) and were more likely to perpetrate IPV themselves (RRR=3.03 [1.89, 4.85]).

Conclusions: Although the prevalence is somewhat lower than found in US studies, the phenomenon of IPV victimization among adolescents in Chinese societies was still quite common. There were differences in dating onset and behaviors for those reporting severe IPV including a significant amount of overlap in victim and perpetrators. Implications to practice and future research will be discussed.