What predicts teen partner rape?

Dr. Angie Kennedy
Dr. Angie Kennedy

MSU School of Social Work faculty member, Dr. Angie Kennedy, was featured in MSU Today (external link) for her research work identifying risk factors linked to sexual violence in young women’s first relationships in life.

Abstract as published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence

The goal of the current study was to identify risk factors that predict sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization across young women’s relationship histories, within a socioeconomically diverse sample recruited from a university, a 2-year college, and community organizations serving low-income young women. We interviewed 148 young women aged 18 to 24 years about partner victimization (physical IPV, coercive control, and sexual IPV) within each of their relationships (up to four relationships, beginning with their first; 388 in total). We used the life history calendar to structure the interviews and obtain detailed information about each relationship, including age difference between participants and their partners, and relationship length. We used multilevel modeling to examine primary caregiver highest grade completed (an indicator of socioeconomic status [SES]), participant age, age difference, relationship length, setting, and physical IPV/coercive control as predictors of sexual IPV during their first relationship and across Relationships 1 to 4.

Sexual IPV during participants’ first relationship was inversely associated with SES and age, and positively associated with physical IPV/coercive control; 2-year college and community participants reported lower rates of sexual IPV during the first relationship, compared with university participants. The trajectory of sexual IPV across Relationships 1 to 4 declined among university participants and increased among 2-year college participants; age difference and physical IPV/coercive control positively covaried with sexual IPV across Relationships 1 to 4. Low SES, young age, large age difference, and the presence of physical IPV and coercive control may be risk factors for sexual IPV victimization within adolescent relationships. Sexual violence prevention and intervention approaches should incorporate these risk factors, and be designed to reach an increasingly socioeconomically diverse population across a variety of settings, to be effective.

You can read the full article at https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0886260518811439