Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Russ Toal, MPH - Chair

Second Advisor

LaQuinda M. Gentry, MBA, PhD

Third Advisor

Karen E. Gieseker, PhD, MS


Victims of teen dating violence (TDV) in the United States engage in risk behaviors that increase their vulnerability to ill health. Although teen dating violence affects millions of adolescents of diverse ethnic backgrounds, there is a higher prevalence of TDV among Blacks and Latinos. In order to develop effective interventions for diverse populations, it is critical to understand the risk behaviors associated with different victims of TDV. The purpose of this thesis is to determine whether there is a difference between the risk behaviors (alcohol abuse, illegal drug use and perilous sexual intercourse) engaged in by Black, Latino and White adolescent victims of TDV. The national 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was the source of data. This thesis hypothesizes that there are different risk behaviors related to each ethnic group, and aims to provide information to support the development of culturally competent TDV interventions.


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