Setting the Teen Dating Violence Research Agenda

Teen dating violence — also called intimate relationship violence, intimate partner violence among adolescents, or adolescent relationship abuse — includes physical, psychological or sexual abuse; harassment; and/or stalking of any person ages 12 to 18 in the context of a past or present romantic or consensual relationship.

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Workshops on Teen Dating Violence

Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence

The creation of the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence was one outcome of the 2006 Workshop on Teen Dating Violence. The workgroup is composed of representatives from 18 agencies representing the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Education and Defense as well as the Office of the Vice President.

The workgroup has met regularly since September 2006 to share information and coordinate teen dating violence program, policy and research activities to combat teen dating violence from a public health perspective. Participating agencies have collaborated on several joint efforts, including cohosting the December 2007 workshop and sponsoring the Concept Mapping Project (see below).

Teen Dating Violence Concept Mapping Project

NIJ, along with its partners in the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence, is funding the development of concept maps on adolescent relationship abuse. In the emerging area of teen dating violence research — as with all emerging fields — definition and concept development are key. It is equally critical that the definitions and concepts that researchers and practitioners use to define relationship abuse resonate with young people. However, prior workgroup meetings noticed that adolescents consistently have not been included in developing the research agenda to address teen dating violence. Because it gives equal weight to adolescent and adult viewpoints, concept mapping was chosen as the most appropriate method for including adolescent perspectives.

A broad range of adolescent participants will be included to provide a better understanding of the features of adolescent relationships, including the range of healthy, unhealthy and abusive characteristics, from the standpoint of adolescents.

Concept maps will be used to determine whether adolescents and adults (e.g., parents, practitioners and researchers) have similar ways of thinking about relationships, as well as what value adolescents place on various relationship characteristics.

The results of the project will help ensure that prevention and intervention can incorporate language and concepts of relationships that youth can relate to and can educate young people about dangerous behaviors they may not consider negative or abusive. The results will also include recommendations on how to incorporate the findings into planning program activities and research agendas in the area of teen dating violence.

Date Modified: February 13, 2014