health care

Tips for parents on teen-dating violence

Posted 3/5/12

EAST PROVIDENCE – It’s better to safe and single, than dating and in danger, according to Christie Rizzo, a child psychologist with the Bradley/Hasbro’s Children’s Research Center.

As many as one in four teens, both male and female, have been in physically abusive relationships, and two-thirds have experience some form of sexual coercion, according to national research.

In Rhode Island, in 2011, in a survey of high school students as part of the statewide Youth Risk Behavior Study, about 8 percent of all students surveyed said that they had been hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year, and 7 percent reported that they had been raped.

Rizzo, an active researcher on adolescent dating violence, says that many parents are in the dark about their child's situation because teens are very good at hiding the signs of abuse.

“Depression is strongly associated with dating violence, so if your teen is in a relationship and suddenly begins doing poorly in school or is isolating themselves from their friends, these may indicate that he or she is in an unhealthy relationship,” Rizzo said.

Sometimes, teens may not even realize they’re experiencing early signs of abuse. A predominant indicator of an abusive relationship is extreme jealousy, according to Rizzo. The most important thing for parents is to have an ongoing dialogue with their teen, Rizzo said. “Kids are so inexperienced with dating, they don’t recognize that a partner’s extreme jealousy is a form of abuse, so if you encourage an open and ongoing dialogue, you're more likely to have your teen report to you,” she said.

For parents who might not know where to start, Rizzo suggests they begin by talking about what is healthy in a relationship versus what is not. Teens may be experiencing psychological violence and not put it in the same level of seriousness as physical abuse, but data show that a victim of psychological abuse is more likely to experience physical violence down the road.

It is also vital for parents to understand that in teen relationships technology (cell phones, text or instant messenger [IM], social networking sites) is often a tool of abuse. One in three teens say they are text messaged up to 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they’re doing, or who they are with. “Control and intimidation through technology can be just as serious as face-to-face violence, Rizzo said. “Parents need to have a dialogue with their teens about how to set healthy limits in-person and online.”

Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • Healthiest Employers
    Celebrate with the Healthiest Employers in RI on August 14th at the Providence M ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    Thank you to our sponsors and to all those who attended the 10th Anniversary of ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement