Saturday, March 19, 2016

Effects of Abusive Parenting, Caretaker Arrests, and Deviant Behavior on Dating Violence among Homeless Young Adults

Though dating violence is widespread among young adult homeless populations, its risk factors are poorly understood by scholars. To address this gap, the current study uses a social learning theory to examine the effects of abusive parenting and caretaker arrests on dating violence among 172 homeless young adults. Results from path analyses revealed that child physical abuse and caretaker arrests were positively associated with engaging in a greater number of school fights, which, in turn, was strongly and positively correlated with participating in more deviant subsistence strategies (e.g., stealing) since being on the street. Young people who participated in a greater number of delinquent acts were more likely to report higher levels of dating violence. Study results highlight the extent of social learning within the lives of homeless young adults, which is evident prior to their leaving home and while they are on the street.

Below:  Correlates of Dating Violence

...Current study results show that those who experience higher rates of child physical abuse and those who report a caretaker who has ever been arrested are more likely to experience a greater number of school fights. Additionally, we find that child physical abuse is indirectly associated with dating violence through school fighting and deviant subsistence strategies. Next, findings reveal that young adults who report more school fighting engage in a greater number of deviant subsistence strategies, which is positively associated with more dating violence. Combined, these multiple factors create interlocking, transecting experiences of violence that can potentially reinforce one another in complex ways. These webs of violent behavior can serve to normalize aggression in homeless young adults’ lives. For example, these different behaviors create situations in which youth are exposed to and take part in many forms of violence such as at home, at school, and on the street. Moreover, engagement in deviant subsistence strategies, such as stealing, may be done for survival purposes when youth are homeless, but these behaviors also may lead to lower resistance to engaging in other crime such as assaulting a partner. Likewise, many of these youth may be dating other youth who have been similarly exposed to multiple forms of violence and when two such youth are in a relationship, this may increase the likelihood of dating violence. The present study highlights the extent of physical violence within the lives of homeless young adults, which is evident prior to their leaving home and while they are on the street...

Full article at:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kimberly A. Tyler, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 717 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588. Phone: (402) 472-6073
Kimberly A. Tyler, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Rachel M. Schmitz, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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