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Awarded Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Perpetration of Partner Violence Among Adolescents from Violent Homes

FOA Number: CDC-RFA-CE08-003: Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011
Application/Grant Number: CE001432
Principal Investigator: Ernest N. Jouriles
Southern Methodist University
PO Box 750442
Dallas, TX 75275 0442
Phone: (214)768-2360
FAX: (214)768-3921
E mail:


Adolescent partner violence (APV) is an important social and health problem with potentially dire consequences. Youth exposure to IPV is also a problem, and children from families characterized by IPV, compared to children from nonviolent families, are more likely to act violently toward their own dating partners and spouses. However, not all youth exposed to IPV go on to act violently toward others. In fact, although the witnessing of IPV increases risk for perpetration of APV, many youth who witness IPV do not become violent in their intimate relationships. Unfortunately, very little is known about why some youth in families characterized by IPV are violent in later relationships, while others are not. The primary goals of the proposed research are to (a) identify potentially malleable variables that predict APV perpetration over a period of 6 months in a sample of youth whose families are characterized by IPV, (b) evaluate the utility of conceptual models derived from empirical research and theory for predicting the perpetration of APV, and (c) develop and test a comprehensive conceptual model that subsumes other, more circumscribed models for predicting the perpetration of APV. The proposed research will recruit and follow approximately 240 14 to 17 year olds over a 6 month period. Adolescents and their mothers will be recruited from agencies providing services to families characterized by IPV (DV agencies, courts). Comprehensive assessments will be conducted at two separate time points, 3 months apart. Phone assessments of APV will be conducted every 2 weeks throughout the 6 month participation period. Specifically, each comprehensive assessment will be followed by a 6 month series of telephone contacts with the adolescents to obtain data on APV. During each of the comprehensive assessments, data will be collected directly from the adolescents, their mothers, and a friend nominated by the adolescents. During the biweekly assessments, data will be collected from the adolescents. This research will offer insights into the processes that shape the etiology of APV for adolescents growing up in highly stressful circumstances. In addition to its contributions to science, the proposed research will inform intervention and prevention programs designed for adolescents from violent homes. Identification of risk and protective factors and the processes by which they predict APV will facilitate the development of targeted interventions designed to prevent or arrest the development of APV.