Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Antonia Abbey


Romantic relationships are important developmental milestones for adolescents; yet negative experiences within them, including adolescent dating violence victimization (ADV), can contribute to poor health. The present study explores the impact of ADV on psychological and physical health as mediated through physical intimate partner violence victimization, perceived relationship quality, and submissive behavior in romantic relationships in adulthood using a subsample from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Participants were assessed across three timepoints (n = 591; 61.1% female). Participants were required to have reported at least one romantic relationship during adolescence, and to have been in an opposite-sex romantic relationship for at least 3 months in early adulthood. ADV was assessed at Timepoint 1 (T1); physical intimate partner violence victimization (IPV), perceived relationship quality, and submissive behavior with a romantic partner were assessed at Timepoint 2 (T2); and depressive symptoms and perceived health were assessed at T2 and Timepoint 3 (T3). Additionally, c-reactive protein was assessed at T3. Structural equation modeling was used. ADV at T1 was significantly associated with increased IPV for men. IPV at T2 was associated with lower T2 relationship quality, lower T2 perceived health, and higher T2 depressive symptoms. Perceived relationship quality at T2 was associated with lower T2 depressive symptoms. This association was stronger for women than for men. T2 depressive symptoms and perceived health were associated with health at T3. Indirect effects were also found. Moderation analyses exploring the modifying effects of age at the time of ADV and relationship enmeshment with the ADV partner were nonsignificant. Findings suggest that ADV may deleteriously affect psychological and physical health through its impact on romantic relationships in adulthood, particularly for men. IPV is also an important predictor of psychological and physical health. The mechanism through which these effects are transmitted differs according to the health outcome. Understanding the long-term impact of ADV and IPV on health and well-being has important implications for prevention and intervention efforts. Providing services that promote healthy relationships to male victims of ADV and comprehensive care for IPV victims is critical in promoting optimal social, psychological and physical health among survivors.

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Psychology Commons