Multi-level protective and risk factors longitudinally associated with dating violence perpetration among non-urban Mexican-American adolescents
To assess the longitudinal relationship between individual and interpersonal risk and protective factors and dating violence perpetration among non-urban Mexican-American youth. With data from a 24-month prospective cohort study (2015–2019; baseline recruitment spanned from 2015–2017; four follow-up interviews every 6 months) of Mexican-American youth (8th grade at baseline) living in an agricultural region (Salinas, California), we utilized multivariable modified Poisson general estimating equations stratified by gender (n = 489) to assess the relationships of religiosity, non-violent problem-solving skills, school connectedness, family cohesion, and bullying victimization with dating violence perpetration. Among girls, but not boys, non-violent problem-solving skills [adjusted relative risk (ARR): 0.7; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.56–0.99] and family cohesion (ARR: 0.7; 95% CI: 0.48–0.97) were negatively associated with dating violence perpetration, and frequency of bullying victimization was positively associated (ARR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.37–2.59). Non-urban Mexican-American female youth may benefit from multi-level dating violence prevention that strengthens family cohesion by building upon the Mexican-American cultural value of familismo and addresses common risk factors for bullying and dating violence perpetration. Additionally, results affirm etiological differences between girls’ and boys’ dating violence perpetration and the need for improved measurement.