Adolescent girls' responses to warning signs of abuse in romantic relationships: Implications for youth-targeted relationship abuse prevention.

Kylie Murphy, David I. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored adolescent girls' experiences of, and responses to, seven domains of partner behavior that are considered to be early warning signs of relationship abuse. Girls (N = 146) aged 14 to 18 years, attending schools in a semirural area, completed a purpose-built questionnaire, providing measures of self-reported exposure, perceived seriousness, and proposed response protectiveness in relation to each domain. Substantial proportions of girls (a) reported exposure to each of the domains, (b) lacked awareness particularly of the risks associated with jealous/possessive partner behaviors, and (c) regardless of their level of risk awareness, lacked knowledge of behavioral responses that might discourage continued warning-sign behaviors by their partners in all domains except for social restriction tactics. The implications of these findings for youth-targeted relationship abuse prevention are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-647
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Cite this