Methods: Data were from the Lehigh Longitudinal study, which began in 1973. The original sample of 457 individuals included participants followed from pre-school (18 months-6 years), through adolescence (n = 416), into adulthood (n = 357). ADV was a dichotomous measure of any physical (e.g., being beaten up) or sexual (e.g., pressured sexually) victimization by a dating partner or spouse in adolescence/emerging adulthood. Socioeconomic security was assessed using four measures—post-high school education status, current unemployment, public assistance receipt, and food insecurity status. Controls included childhood socioeconomic status, maltreatment, and IQ, and adult race/ethnicity, marital status, and high school/GED completion of participants. Analyses used logistic regression to examine the relationship between ADV victimization and each outcome, inclusive of relevant controls, and used multiple imputation to address missingness.
Results: Approximately 9% (n = 38) of the adolescent sample reported ADV victimization. After controlling for covariates, experiencing ADV was associated with 4-times higher odds of receiving public assistance (OR=4.16, 95% CI= 1.47-11.8), and almost 3-times higher odds in the experience of food insecurity (OR=2.80, 95% CI= 1.12-7.01) in adulthood.
Conclusions and Implications: Our study suggested that ADV has an enduring effect on socioeconomic security in adulthood, particularly receiving public assistance and experiencing food insecurity. We did not find evidence of ADV impacting adult educational attainment. Prior research emphasizes the significant influence of peer/dating relationships in adolescence. Within this context, our findings suggest these influences may have an enduring effect well beyond this period of development, highlighting prevention of ADV as an important area of focus to support healthy adolescent development and promote socioeconomic security in the long-term.