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TDV, like IPV in adulthood, impacts adolescents from all races, ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds .
Not surprisingly, the prevalence of TDV among specific populations is also debated.
Although some confusion remains, the definition and epidemiology of TDV is better understood which has greatly lead to effective ways in which to screen and intervene when such violence is detected.
Universal screening with a focus on high risk subgroups combined with referrals to local and national support services are key steps in reducing both primary and secondary exposure.
Although incidence and prevalence data indicates high rates of exposure to TDV among adolescents throughout the United States, significant confusion remains in healthcare communities concerning the definition and implications of TDV.
Additionally, healthcare providers are uncertain about effective screening and intervention methods.
Qualitative research studies have examined the ways in which teens conceptualize relationships and the reasons they choose to remain in relationships.However, the significant differences in psychological, physical, and intellectual development between adolescents and adults make comparisons between IPV in adulthood and TDV problematic .Because of their developmental stage, a typical adolescent may be less capable of utilizing positive relationship skills and more likely to use anger, physical aggression, and emotional abuse in conflicts .Much of the literature has focused on the bidirectional nature of TDV within the context of heterosexual relationships.Studies indicate that male and female adolescents, in heterosexual relationships, report perpetrating violence equally and that they also report comparable exposure to victimization [10,16].
Teen dating violence (TDV)--defined as psychological, physical, and sexual aggression within the dating relationship of an adolescent aged 13–19 by a member of either a heterosexual or same sex couple is highly prevalent among all adolescents [1,2**,3**].