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More Programs Needed to Curb High School Dating Violence

About 9 percent of high school boys and girls report being subjected to physical dating violence

THURSDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- About 9 percent of high school boys and girls say they have been involved in some form of physical violence with a person they are dating, according to a report published online May 19 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Matt Breiding, Ph.D., and colleagues at the National Center for Injury Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measured the frequency of physical dating violence reported by high school students in the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The researchers defined physical dating violence as having been purposely hit, slapped or physically hurt during a dating relationship.

The researchers found that 8.9 percent of males and 8.8 percent of female high school students reported having been subjected to physical dating violence in the previous year. Students who experienced dating violence were also more likely to engage in sexual intercourse, attempt suicide, drink heavily and engage in physical fights, the report indicates.

"Primary prevention programs are needed to educate high school students about healthy dating relationship behaviors, and secondary prevention programs should address risk behaviors associated with dating violence victimization," the authors write.

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