Statement of purpose This study uses data from the 2015 New Mexico Youth Risk Behavior Survey to determine whether perceived support is associated with lower prevalence of teen dating violence among marginalized youths.
Methods/Approach I conducted hierarchical linear regression to predict the effect of social support in three domains (at home, at school, and in community) on teen dating violence when controlling for the effects of marginalized identity, including sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, parent education, physical disability, nativity and homelessness.
Results Marginalized identities predicted higher prevalence of dating violence, with girls, homeless students, students with disabilities or long-term health problems, students born outside the U.S.A. and LGB students and those unsure of their sexual orientation experiencing more dating violence than their peers. When evaluated independently, social support at home, at school, and in the community each significantly predicted lower prevalence of teen dating violence. In multi-variable modeling, however, only home support and community support remained significantly predictive of less dating violence when controlling for marginalized identities.
Conclusion Social support in this study accounted for a small amount of the total variability in teen dating violence, while marginalization explained much more. Even so, these findings suggest that positive relationships with adults at home and in the community may help to protect marginalized young people from dating violence victimization.
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