• Article

Developmental outcomes of using physical violence against dates and peers


The negative impact on adolescents of being a victim of violence is well documented, but the impact of being a perpetrator of violence is less well known. Knowing the negative outcomes of being a perpetrator could inform clinical interactions with adolescents, development of violence prevention strategies, and estimates of the societal burden of violence. This longitudinal study examined the effects of physical dating violence (DV) and peer violence (PV) perpetration on internalizing symptoms, relationships with friends and family, academic aspirations and grades, and substance use.


The four-wave longitudinal study (N = 3,979), conducted in two North Carolina counties over 2½ years, spanned grades 8-12. Generalized linear mixed models were used to examine prospective lagged effects of each type of violence perpetration on each outcome and sex and grade as moderators of effects.


Perpetrating DV significantly predicted lower college aspirations and greater likelihood of marijuana use. The effect of DV perpetration on increased family conflict was moderated by school grade; the effect decreased in significance across grades. Perpetrating PV significantly predicted greater likelihood of cigarette and marijuana use. The effects of PV perpetration on increased internalizing symptoms and alcohol intensity and decreased college aspirations were moderated by school grade; effects decreased in significance across grades. Neither type of perpetration predicted changes in number of reciprocated friendships, social status, or academic grades, and no effects varied by sex.


These detrimental outcomes for the perpetrator need to be considered in clinical interactions with adolescents and violence prevention programming.

Copyright © 2016 The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.


Foshee, V. A., Gottfredson, N. C., Reyes, H. L., Chen, M., David-Ferdon, C., Latzman, N., ... Ennett, S. E. (2016). Developmental outcomes of using physical violence against dates and peers. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(6), 665-671. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.03.002