Does Sexual Risk Among Girls with a History of Dating Violence Vary According to Childhood Maltreatment?

ViolenceChildhood maltreatment (CM) is associated with risky sexual behavior (RSB) in adolescence Negriff et al., 2015). Little is known about the association between types of CM and RSB among adolescent girls with a history of dating violence (DV). We examined whether RSB differed according to five types of CM for 109 girls (age 14-17) from a randomized controlled trial of an indicated DV prevention intervention. The Child Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ: Bernstein et al., 1997) assessed history of physical and emotional abuse and neglect and sexual abuse.

RSB was assessed with the AIDS Risk Behavior Assessment (ARBA: Donenberg et al., 2001). Girls with a history of physical neglect were significantly less likely to have used a condom at last intercourse, X2 (1) = 5.88, p < .05. Two other associations were found at a trend level: girls with physical abuse histories were more likely to have had vaginal sex, X2 (1) = 5.88, p = .095, girls with emotional abuse histories were younger the first time they had oral sex, t (41) = 1.99, p = .053. These results can inform prevention programming for girls at risk of RSB due to CM history.

Future research should examine associations between RSB and different maltreatment profiles for teens who experienced more than one type of abuse or neglect.

Authors: Jannette Garriga, B.A., Melanie Fullard, B.S., & Christie J. Rizzo, Ph.D.

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