Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kevin Swartout, PhD

Second Advisor

Julia Perilla, PhD

Third Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Christopher Henrich, PhD


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a critical public health problem that has a broad range of negative consequences on not only the individuals in the relationship but also on their children. Although Latino adolescents experience dating violence at a higher rate than White adolescents, little research has investigated the risk and protective factors associated with this group. Witnessing domestic violence has been associated to an increased risk in experiencing dating violence as adolescents. The pattern of IPV exposed youth to later experience violent relationships has been described as the intergenerational transmission of violence (ITV). Although youth exposed to IPV are at an increased risk for experiencing and perpetrating violence in their own relationships, not all do. This dissertation moves research on ITV beyond a deficit focus by using a resilience framework to investigate parenting relationships as protective factors for dating violence. A subsample of data Latino adolescents and their mothers’ were analyzed from a larger Welfare, Children, and Families (WCF) study. This study extends previous cross-sectional research by using longitudinal data to assess risk and protective factors when youth were 10-14 years old and its relationship to their own use of violence seven years later. Latent class analysis was conducted to understand the contextual and cultural factors related to the development of adolescent dating violence: acculturation, gender, and positive parent-child relationships were examined as influencing ITV. Three classes emerged that indicate unique combinations of risk and resilience. Two of these classes predicted differential associations with adolescent dating violence. A class indicating moderate-risk/low-protection and mothers with high acculturation was significantly related to increased odds of adolescents experiencing dating violence, both as victims and as perpetrators. A class indicating low-risk/high-protection and mothers with low acculturation significantly predicted increased odds of perpetrating dating violence but no significant relationship was found with victimization. Findings suggest that holistic family based approach to dating violence and adult domestic violence may be most effective for Latino adolescents and their IPV exposed mothers.