Dating to relationship transition
First, relationship abuse peaks in young adulthood.
Dating violence in adolescence is associated with many negative physical and mental health outcomes, and this study showed that these negative outcomes are present in young adulthood.Where relationship abuse was present, couples were more likely to be living together but not married, in casual sexual relationships, or breaking up and getting back together multiple times while dating.The risk of violence in the relationship increased if couples had lots of arguments about time spent with friends, finances, infidelity, and sexual exclusivity.This may be due to the accumulation of violent relationship experiences.An interesting result emerged when the data were restricted to only adult reports of relationship violence; those with adulthood-onset of relationship abuse on average reported more concentrated abuse within a shorter timeframe.Peggy Giordano “Understanding Teen Dating Violence.”) The researchers also examined the frequency of relationship violence incidents across the waves of data.
Overall, those who experienced relationship violence in adolescence reported more episodes of relationship violence.
In adolescents, the age curve for relationship abuse showed similar rates for both males and females, but young adult females reported a significantly higher rate of perpetration than males (see Figure 1).
These gender differences should be interpreted cautiously.
In general, as youths developed higher quality relationships during the transition to adulthood, they moved away from abusive behaviors.
In other words, as trust, intimacy, and commitment increased, the occurrences of relationship abuse decreased.
The researchers examined perpetration and victimization patterns of relationship abuse from adolescence to young adulthood.