The relevance of technology to the nature, prevalence and impact of Adolescent Dating Violence and Abuse: A research synthesis

Karlie Stonard, Erica Bowen, Tony Lawrence, Shelley A. Price

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    150 Citations (Scopus)
    158 Downloads (Pure)


    While an established literature has documented the nature and prevalence of traditional forms of Adolescent Dating Violence and Abuse (ADVA), less research has investigated the relevance of Electronic Communication Technology (ECT) such as mobile phones and communication tools via the Internet to ADVA and to psychological/emotional abuse and monitoring or controlling behaviors in particular. This paper reviews the literature on the nature, prevalence and impact of ADVA and what will be termed Technology Assisted Adolescent Dating Violence and Abuse (TAADVA). The review revealed a broad range of prevalence estimates for physical, psychological/emotional, and sexual dating violence in addition to abuse experienced or performed via ECT. Inconsistencies in prevalence reports are likely to be due to the various measures and methods used to investigate this phenomenon, however; this leads to difficulties when attempting to make accurate comparisons and generalizations. Limited research was found to have explored the impact of TAADVA compared to that of traditional ADVA. Nevertheless, ADVA and TAADVA were prevalent in a substantial number of adolescent romantic relationships in these studies. It is suggested that ECT provides a new avenue for ADVA rather than representing a new, unique form of abuse. Further research is needed to explore the nature, prevalence, and impact of ECT use for both abusive and non-abusive purposes within adolescent dating relationships, in addition to whether this creates new victims or perpetrators of such abuse. Implications of the findings of the review are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)390–417
    JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Aggression and Violent Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Aggression and Violent Behavior [Vol 19, Issue 4, (2014)] DOI 10.1016/j.avb.2014.06.005.


    • adolescents
    • dating violence and abuse
    • impact
    • media
    • prevalence
    • technology


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