“Cyber dating abuse” involves the use of technology to control, harass, threaten, or stalk another person in the context of a dating relationship and is described as an emerging challenge for today’s youth.
it is unclear whether cyber dating abuse shares similar detrimental health correlates as documented for physical and sexual ARA.
Adolescents are increasingly using texting and online social networking sites to connect with other adolescents, with 63% reporting exchanging text messages daily and 29% reporting daily communication through social networking sites.
A qualitative study of older adolescents, all with histories of abusive relationships, identified multiple ways in which technology was used to perpetrate abuse including monitoring or controlling the activities or whereabouts of a partner and being emotionally or verbally abusive to a partner.
More female than male participants reported cyber dating abuse victimization (44.6% vs 31.0%).
Compared with no exposure, low- (“a few times”) and high-frequency (“once or twice a month” or more) cyber dating abuse were significantly associated with physical or sexual ARA (low: adjusted odds ratio [a OR] 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8–4.4; high: a OR 5.4, 95% CI 4.0–7.5) and nonpartner sexual assault (low: a OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3–5.5; high: a OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.8–5.9).
Analysis with female participants found an association between cyber dating abuse exposure and contraceptive nonuse (low: a OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2–2.7; high: a OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.0–8.4) and reproductive coercion (low: a OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–6.2; high: a OR 5.7, 95% CI 2.8–11.6).
Using a 3-state school-based sample of adolescents, Zweig and colleagues found that 26% of adolescents in dating relationships experienced cyber dating abuse and that cyber dating abuse was highly correlated with experiencing physical dating violence, psychological dating abuse, and sexual coercion.During the 2012–2013 school year, 1062 youth aged 14 to 19 years seeking services at any of 8 participating SHCs were invited to participate.Over a 7-month enrollment period, all students were screened at clinic entry for age eligibility by trained research staff.Eligible students interested in participating were escorted to a private area in the clinic for consent or assent and survey administration.Because participants were receiving confidential clinical services, parental permission for participation was waived for minors.