Dating Violence Among Latino Adolescents (DAVILA) Studies

Dating Violence and Help-Seeking Among Latino Adolescents

Latino adolescents are at risk for experiencing dating violence as well as other forms of victimization that have substantial negative effects. This study offers an analysis of their experiences and responses to dating violence while incorporating culturally-relevant components. The goals include (1) an examination of various forms of dating violence victimization including physical, sexual, and verbal victimization, (2) an analysis of the other forms of victimization that adolescent victims of dating violence experience, (3) a thorough analysis of the help-seeking efforts of Latino youth that addresses both formal and (4) informal help-seeking, effectiveness of services, and help-seeking barriers, (5) measurement of particular cultural factors that effect Latino youth who are victims of dating violence, (6) an assessment of current psychosocial outcomes associated with victimization, including psychological factors and delinquency behaviors, and (7) an evaluation of protective factors that may moderate the relationship between victimization and negative outcomes.

The study addresses significant gaps in the current literature especially concerning co-occurring victimization, help-seeking efforts, and the influence of cultural factors on experience, impact and responses to dating violence victimization. The findings are also pertinent to shaping practice and policy, specifically school-based interventions, criminal justice institutions, and victim advocacy. Data was collected via phone interviews with a targeted sample of 1,525 Latino adolescents (between the ages of 12 and 18) and their caregiver living throughout the United States. Participants were asked about dating violence and other forms of victimization, formal and informal help-seeking efforts, psychological distress, delinquency, acculturation, familism, social support, and demographic information. A better, more culturally-based, understanding of dating violence among Latino youth will be gained.

DAVILA - II will build on the DAVILA project by collecting data from the same group of Latino youth one year later, providing longitudinal data on dating violence and victimization. This will allow for more advanced longitudinal analyses that will allow us to evaluate risk factors for later victimization, the role of cultural variables on this revictimization risk, as well as the impact of help-seeking on adolescent dating violence.

These projects are supported by Grant 2009-W9-BX-0001 and 2011-WG-BX-0021 awarded by the National Institute of Justice Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are thoes of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice

© Carlos Cuevas 2013