Violence In Adolescent And Young Couples

Violence in adolescent and young couples

Adolescence and youth are unique stages of life for all the implications they entail. This is the time when preparation for adult life begins, and the worlds that open up before us are new and exciting. Like love affairs. It is at this stage that we begin to take an interest in other people in romantic terms, starting relationships that are different from those we have had up to now. Well, these relationships, unfortunately, are not free from physical or verbal aggression. During this critical age, it is important to know the factors that can trigger violence in adolescent and young couples, so that we can remedy it before the problem gets out of hand.

The socio-cultural factors that favor violence in adolescent and young couples

Among the variables that can determine the appearance or increase of violence in adolescent and young couples, those of a social and cultural nature must be taken into account. Indeed, a  large part of our society still today sees violence as a valid tool to achieve their goals, against those who instead give more importance to sensitivity and a sense of right.

Couple breaking up

The traditional cultural beliefs that mark the difference between the roles of men and women also imply that if the former tend to use violence, the latter are inclined to excuse them; in other words, we live in a society that tends to foment attitudes of tolerance towards male-dominated violence and female victimization.

Nevertheless, by analyzing the relational models between young people and adolescents, it is possible to detect violent behaviors even on the part of girls, although these are reduced in adulthood. Apparently, girls use such conduct to manage insecurity and anger, while boys do it to reaffirm their masculinity and exercise control over the other person.

The interpersonal factors that favor violence in adolescent and young couples

With regard to interpersonal factors, it is necessary to dwell on the dynamics within the family and the group to which the violent couples belong. Traditionally, it is said that if situations of abuse have occurred within the family unit (both between parents and towards children), it is easier for the adolescent to replicate those violent behaviors in his relationships. On the other hand, research indicates that “only” one third of those who engage in violence have these antecedents.

Precisely taking these data into account, it was considered appropriate to also take into account the exposure and observation of similar attitudes in the couple’s group of friends. When violent phenomena are present, the cultural idea is reinforced that violence is justified and, sometimes, necessary. This happens precisely because the members of the couple are part of a social group made up of people who are important to them who validate (or at least do not condemn) violent behavior.

Friends' group

The personal factors that favor violence in adolescent and young couples

Finally, it is necessary to take into account the personal factors that favor violent conduct within couples of adolescents and young people. One variable to consider is the use of aggression in previous relationships, which increases the likelihood of it happening again.

In this respect, many risk factors have been highlighted, such as insecure attachment, jealousy, dependence, impulsiveness or the lack of social skills to deal with conflicts. The problem of alcohol abuse and staves can also play an important role.

The truth is that, as with most existing behaviors, violence in couples of adolescents and young people is a more than complex phenomenon, favored not by a single factor, but by the encounter and the sum of several elements. Precisely for this reason it is important to create prevention programs that analyze all the areas involved and prevent violence from occurring, validating and ending up being normalized.

Couple shaking hands

Images courtesy of Adrian Sava, Alexis Brown, and Tr N Toan.

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