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Keywords

adolescents, intimate partner violence, Latinx, teens

 

Authors

  1. Montalvo-Liendo, Nora PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew PhD
  3. Nava, Angeles PhD, RN
  4. Chilton, Jenifer PhD, RN
  5. Pepper, Catherine MLIS, MPH
  6. Alvarado, Eliza D. PhD

Abstract

Introduction: Intimate partner violence is a significant public health issue facing communities across the country and worldwide, and we know that many children are witness or exposed to the violence. Substantial research related to exposure of children to family violence exists; however, research specific to adolescents exposed to intimate partner violence remains minimally explored.

 

Methods: This mixed-methods study sought to understand the experiences and perspectives of Latinx teens with histories of exposure to intimate partner violence. The study combined focus groups with (n = 25) Latinx teens and pretests and posttests using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and Attitudes and Beliefs about Violence.

 

Results: Twenty-five Latinx teens participated in the groups. The participants were 13-17 years old, with a mean age of 14.3 years. Participants provided several perspectives in which teens deal with exposure to intimate partner violence. Teens stated that "safety" was identified as "protecting themselves" or "protecting their siblings." Findings suggest a need for teens to discuss intimate partner violence issues and develop positive and effective coping strategies.

 

Discussions: This study sought to understand Latinx teens' experiences of their exposure to intimate partner violence. Study limitations included a small high-risk sample from a nonprofit agency located in south Texas adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border offering services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their children. This study shows promise for developing an evidence-based program that is developmentally and culturally appropriate for teens exposed to family violence.