Intimate partner violence among youth linked to suicide, weapons and drug use

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January 31, 2017

Adolescents who are violent toward their romantic partners are also more likely to think about or attempt suicide, carry a weapon, threaten others with a weapon and use drugs or alcohol than peers in non-violent relationships, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

The study, published recently in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, followed a randomly selected cohort of 588 Georgia students for seven consecutive years as they progressed through middle and high school. During that period, students self-reported instances of slapping, kicking, punching, scratching or shoving a romantic partner; slamming a partner against a wall; throwing something at a partner that could cause injury; or using an object to injure a partner.

"Intimate partner violence is a serious public health problem," said Pamela Orpinas, lead author of the study and professor of health promotion and behavior in UGA's College of Public Health. "It affects people in the moment because of the aggression, but it also has long-term consequences."

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