Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Dr. Saba Masho


Background: Physical Dating Violence (PDV) victimization is a major public health concern among adolescents in the United States. Research has shown that determinants of PDV victimization are different for male and female adolescents. However, inconsistent findings entail that further research needs to be done using a representative sample of male and female adolescents.Objective: To identify gender-specific determinants of PDV victimization utilizing a nationally representative sample of high school adolescents.Methods: Data from the 2005 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey was used for this analysis. The study population included 6.951 male and 6,807 female students in grades 9 through 12. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted and three predictor models were generated. The first model examined predictors of PDV in the total population. The second and third models identified predictors of PDV in male and female participants, respectively.Results: PDV affects approximately 1 in every 11 youth in the United States, with males and females exhibiting prevalence rates (males: 9.0%, females: 9.2%). Being currently sexually active, using alcohol, engaging in a physical fight, experiencing sexual victimization, and having suicidal thoughts were significant predictors of PDV for both male and female participants. Poor body images were found to be a significant predictor among females but not in males. On the other hand, illicit drug use was a significant predictor among males but not in females.Conclusions: This study provided evidence that there is some gender difference in the determinants of PDV. It is essential that counselors and care providers give particular attention to female adolescents with poor body image and male adolescents who report illicit drug use.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Epidemiology Commons