Parent Physical and Psychological Aggression and Youth Dating Violence: A Latent Class Analysis Approach

Publication Year


Journal Article

Adolescent dating violence is a national public health issue and research suggests that aggressive parenting may predict the likelihood that a child will subsequently experience abuse. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of parent physical and psychological aggression on adolescent dating violence perpetration and victimization. Data derived from the Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study resulted in a racially and ethnically diverse sample of adolescents in dating relationships at the age of 15 years (N = 952). Utilizing both parent and adolescent data which assessed parenting practices at ages 3, 5, 9, and 15, and adolescent dating violence victimization and perpetration at age 15, we analyzed the data using a latest class analysis. Youth were typologized into three classes: the non-physically aggressive parenting, nonaggressive dating class (Class 1; 16% of youth), the aggressive parenting, nonaggressive dating class (Class 2; 76% of youth), and the aggressive parenting, aggressive dating class (Class 3; 8% of youth). Parents across all three classes utilized high levels of psychologically aggressive parenting. An important finding from this study is that parents’ use of both physically and psychologically aggressive parenting only predicted subsequent dating violence victimization and perpetration among a small portion of adolescents. Findings suggest that additional risk factors, including household income and adolescent impulsivity, may help to elucidate pathways to adolescent dating violence. There is also a need to further explore the resiliency factors at play for youth who, despite having experienced both psychologically and physically aggressive parenting across the lifespan, did not experience dating violence victimization or perpetration.

Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Start Page