Acculturation, Gender Stereotypes, and Attitudes About Dating Violence Among Latino Youth

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This study examined the relationship between personal characteristics (gender, acculturation, belief in gender stereotypes, recent dating experiences), and attitudes and knowledge about dating violence in urban Latino youth (N = 678). All participants completed self-administered surveys at school. Relative to girls, boys held more problematic (proviolence) attitudes about dating violence and reported less knowledge about dating violence and its consequences. Teens who were more traditional (less acculturated), those who endorsed gender stereotypes, and those who reported recent fearful dating experiences tended to report less knowledge about abuse and lower endorsement of nonviolent attitudes. Multivariate analyses revealed that all four personal variables predicted dating violence knowledge. By contrast, attitudes were predicted by endorsement of gender stereotypes only, or gender stereotypes and gender. Implications for dating violence interventions and future directions for research are explored.

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