Risk Factors of Sexual Violence Across Young Women’s Relationship Histories

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Angie Kennedy, PhD Associate Professor School of Social Work Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824

Dr. Kennedy

Angie Kennedy, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Social Work
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Nearly half of women (44%) experience physical or sexual partner violence by young adulthood, with 1 in 5 girls in high school reporting abuse within the last year. Sexual violence typically co-occurs with other forms of partner violence; co-occurring sexual and physical violence among adolescent girls is linked to health-risk behaviors including alcohol and drug use, unhealthy weight control, sexual risk-taking, and suicidality. As such, it represents a serious public health problem.

To better understand this issue, we wanted to explore risk factors for sexual violence during young women’s adolescent and young adult relationships, i.e., what predicts attempted rape and rape by a partner during this vulnerable period?

We took a novel approach: We examined predictors across multiple relationships, beginning with the first one, and we recruited a diverse sample of young women from a four-year research university, a two-year community college, and community sites serving low-income young women.

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