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Just over a quarter of youth in a current or recent relationship said that they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year, with females reporting more cyber dating abuse victimization than males (particularly sexual cyber dating abuse).

One out of ten youth said that they had perpetrated cyber dating abuse, with females reporting greater levels of non-sexual cyber dating abuse perpetration than males; by contrast, male youth were significantly more likely to report perpetrating sexual cyber dating abuse.

Evidence has already shown that cyber dating abuse is linked to physical, sexual and psychological abuse, Dick said.

The study authors surveyed slightly more than 1,000 teens aged 14 to 19 who visited on-campus health clinics from 2012 to 2013 in search of care for issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and annual checkups.

While dating violence doesn’t take the same path for every relationship, there is one common thread that stands out.

Further, cyber dating abuse appeared somewhat more strongly related to depressive symptoms and delinquency than did other forms of teen dating violence and abuse.

To date, little research has documented how teens might misuse technology to harass, control, and abuse their dating partners.

Recent advancements in technology (e.g., social networking, texting) have created new ways for dating youth to relate to one another, including in abusive ways via “cyber dating abuse.” Cyber dating abuse is a form of teen dating violence that overlaps with other types of abuse (e.g., psychological) but also has several unique characteristics.

Given the phenomenon’s limited presence in dating violence literature, we focus on identifying how experiencing cyber dating abuse relates to youths’ individual behaviors and experiences (e.g., substance use, sexual activity), psychosocial adjustment, school connection, family relationships, and partner relationships.