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The research didn’t look at that, but it may be related to stress.Young adults who have experienced trauma may have less developed stress-management skills, says Exner-Cortens; that may prompt them to adopt potentially harmful behaviors like drinking or becoming more aggressive themselves as way to cope with their anxiety.(MORE: How Teen Rejection Can Lead to Chronic Disease Later in Life) Researchers from Cornell University tracked nearly 6,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 18 who were in heterosexual relationships, asking them about their experiences with dating violence.Specifically, they wanted to know if the children had dating partners who had sworn at them, insulted them or treated them disrespectfully in public.According to the Centers for Disease Control, 9.4% of teens in a recent survey reported being physically abused by a romantic partner in the past 12 months — that included being slapped, hit or intentionally injured.There is also evidence that adolescents who experience violence in early relationships are more vulnerable to being abused again, and indeed the latest study on the issue published in the journal Pediatrics shows that teens who experienced aggression from a romantic partner between the ages of 12 and 18 were up to three times as likely to be revictimized in relationships as young adults.
It’s a critical part of adolescent development, but with reports of increased violence occurring within relationships, there is growing concern about how that early experience with dating aggression can impact young-adult relationships.“Unhealthy relationship experiences are associated with poor health and well-being,” says Exner-Cortens.“It’s a public-health problem that needs to be addressed through education and intervention.” Why does dating violence put young adults at risk for unhealthy behavior?And those who were treated badly in their younger years were two to three times more likely to get stuck in the same patterns of dating aggression as they got older.(MORE: Looking for Love: College Students May Prefer Relationship Sex to Casual Hookups) It’s not a trivial problem.