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A growing literature attests to the fact that dating violence is an important public health problem (Howard & Wang, 2003a,b; Silverman, Raj, Mucci, & Hathaway, 2001; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000a,b; Centers for Disease Control, 2000). Data from the most recent national Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school students indicate that approximately 10% had been hit, slapped or hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend over the previous year (Centers for Disease Control, 2002). Available national data also suggest a clustering of problem behaviors and other risk indicators among adolescents who experience dating violence; that is, adolescents who report sad/hopeless or depressed feelings, poorer self-esteem, substance use, multiple sex partners, and unprotected sex are more likely to report being a victim of dating violence (Ackard, Neumark-Satainer, & Hannah, 2003; Howard & Wang, 2003a,b; Silverman, Raj, Mucci, & Hathaway, 2001). Elsewhere, among largely urban minority youth, Howard et al. found religious service attendance and perceptions of high parental monitoring to be associated with fewer reports of dating violence (Howard, Yue, & Boekeloo, 2003). When national data are examined by ethnicity, Hispanic girls appear more likely to report dating violence victimization than their peers (Howard & Wang, 2003; Centers for Disease Control, 2002). Despite this, there is little information on the experience of dating violence victimization among Latino youth. Clearly, more needs to be learned about the correlates of dating violence among various ethnic groups in order to support the development of culturally sensitive prevention and intervention efforts.


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