Predicting Abuse in Adolescent Dating Relationships Over 1 Year: The Role of Child Maltreatment and Trauma.
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Three mediators of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and dating violence perpetration during midadolescence (i.e., trauma-related symptoms, attitudes justifying dating violence, and empathy and self-efficacy in dating relationships) were tested over 1 year with a sample of students from 10 high schools (N = 1,317). Trauma-related symptoms had a significant cross-time effect on predicting incidents of dating violence for both boys and girls. Attitudes and empathy and self-efficacy did not predict dating violence over time, although they were correlated with such behavior at both time points. Child maltreatment is a distal risk factor for adolescent dating violence, and trauma-related symptoms act as a significant mediator of this relationship. The importance of longitudinal methodology that separates correlates from predictors is discussed.
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