Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Terri Sullivan


Adolescent dating violence occurs far too frequently in early adolescence and is related to adverse mental health outcomes, including posttraumatic stress symptoms. One focus within this literature has been to determine and better understand how protective processes may function in influencing relations between risk factors and dating violence victimization. A protective factor that has not been explored in the dating literature is positive outlook. The current short-term longitudinal study investigated whether dating violence victimization at Time 1 predicted posttraumatic stress symptoms at Time 2 among African American middle school students and examine whether positive outlook moderated or mediated this relation. Data were collected from 824 adolescents (52% female) in the sixth (n = 283), seventh (n = 249), and eighth (n = 292) grades who reported a current or recent dating relationships (i.e., within the past three months) at Time 1. All participants identified themselves as African American or Black. Results showed that dating violence victimization at Time 1 did not predict posttraumatic stress symptoms at time 2. Further, positive outlook did not function as a moderator or mediator of this relation. Lastly, the DVV x positive outlook interaction did not vary by gender.


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