Article| Volume 28, ISSUE 3, P227-233, May 2014

Characteristics of Violence Among High-Risk Adolescent Girls



      Recent evidence demonstrates increasing rates of involvement with violence among adolescent girls. The objective of this study was to describe the types and sources of violence experienced within social contexts of adolescent girls at high risk for pregnancy.


      Qualitative data for this analysis are drawn from intervention summary reports of 116 girls participating in Prime Time, a youth development intervention for adolescent girls. Descriptive content analysis techniques were used to identify types and sources of violence experienced by girls within their daily contexts.


      Types of violence included physical fighting, witnessing violence, physical abuse, gang-related violence, verbal fighting, verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. Sources of violence included family, peers and friends, romantic partners, community violence, and self-perpetrated violence. Many girls in this study experienced violence in multiple contexts.


      It is imperative that efforts to assess and prevent violence among adolescent girls include paying attention to the social contexts in which these adolescents live.

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      Molly Secor-Turner, Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University, Department of Nursing, Fargo, ND.


      Ann Garwick, Professor and Senior Executive Associate Dean for Research, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN.


      Renee Sieving, Associate Professor, Schools of Nursing and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


      Ann Seppelt, Research Associate, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN.