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Intimate partner violence disproportionately impacts women, younger populations – study

While overall IPV severity increased with age, adolescents exhibited a significantly higher incidence of sexual assault than emerging adults and adults.

Photo by Mihman Duganli from Pexels.com

Intimate partner violence (IPV) disproportionately impacts women and younger populations, with incidences peaking between adolescence and young adulthood. Alarmingly, a strong correlation exists between IPV experienced in adolescence and its persistence into adulthood.

This is according to a study – “Age-specific Patterns of Intimate Partner Violence Related Injuries in US Emergency Departments” by Bharti Khurana, Rose McKeon Olson, Jeff R. Temple, and Randall T. Loder – that appeared in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

So the researchers conducted a retrospective data review of IPV patients in US Emergency Departments from 2005 to 2020, aiming to identify patterns related to IPV across three age groups: adolescents (<18 years), emerging adults (18-25 years), and adults (>25 years).

Their findings revealed:

  • While overall IPV severity increased with age, adolescents exhibited a significantly higher incidence of sexual assault than emerging adults and adults.
  • The proportion of female patients was highest among adolescents and decreased with age.
  • Adolescent patients showed higher rates of lower trunk injuries, facial fractures, and fractures in the hands, fingers, and toes. Notably, they had a fourfold increased likelihood of cervical fractures compared to older age groups.

“While IPV is a critical issue across all age groups, the developmental stage, social dynamics, and systemic structures surrounding adolescents provide unique opportunities for effective intervention,” said Khurana. “Efforts to address teen IPV can leverage these factors to promote lasting changes in behavior and relationships, potentially preventing the cycle of violence from continuing into adulthood.”

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