Apr 15, 2019 02:11 PM EDT
JAMA Pediatrics' new study indicates that indeed the intimate partner homicide among teens happens and 90 percent of the victims are girls.
In the mid-1980s, the rate of adolescent homicide in the United States increased sharply, followed by a steady decline in rates for persons aged 12 to 17 years, with a 59 percent decrease between 1991 to 2000. Adolescent boys who trafficked in illegal narcotics in urban environments were identified as being at high risk of homicide, primarily by firearms and intervention strategies based on research may have been partly responsible for the decline in homicide rates.
Avanti Adhia, the lead author of the study and a senior fellow at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said that this is a public health issue that should be taken seriously.
The study examined data from the National Violent Death Reporting System from 2003 to 2016, including 2,188 homicides of young people from age 11 to 18 years where the relationship between the victim and perpetrator was known.
150, that is, 6.9 percent of these homicides were classified as intimate partner homicides. Adhia said that while not a common occurrence, it happens more frequently than people realize. Adhia further said that 90 percent of the perpetrators are male, and guns are the most conventional weapon they used.
According to her, the mainstream homicides happen in older adolescents between the ages of 16 to 18. She said that an ordinary circumstance is when a victim ends a relationship with the perpetrator or there is jealousy over the victim dating someone new.
An acute argument or altercation that ends in death by stabbing and firearm is another common scenario; she said further.
The study used the data from 32 states, and each state contributed data for a different number of years, so no trend analysis was available. But there has been an expansion in the dataset to 50 states, and more cases will be available in the future.
Adhia stated that her interest in the topic was partly because of the perception that teen dating violence is less severe than intimate partner violence among adults. She emphasized the importance of understanding that things can escalate among teens as well.
Adhia said there must be an implementation of evidence-based interventions in school and community settings around awareness, communication skills in relationships and bystander intervention.
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