The Association between Adolescent Dating Violence, Depressive Symptomology, and Subjective Well-Being: School Climate as a Protective Factor

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Adolescent dating violence (ADV) is a worldwide concern that is associated with negative mental health outcomes. Research in ADV is saturated with identifying risk factors to reduce the prevalence of ADV, however, research on protective factors associated with ADV is scarce. This project attempts to fill this gap by examining school climate as a potential protective factor. Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) data were used to examine the association between ADV, depressive symptomology and subjective well-being in a nationally representative sample of Canadian youth, and whether this relationship was moderated by school climate and/or teacher support. Linear and logistic regression analysis was conducted, and results demonstrated that individuals who experienced ADV (either victimization only or mutual violence) had lower subjective well-being scores and greater odds of experiencing depressive symptoms. More positive school climate and teacher support scores were also associated with higher subjective well-being and lower depressive symptoms. Youth who experienced ADV also had lower school climate and teacher support scores, a statistically significant difference as compared to youth who did not experience ADV. However, a statistically significant interaction was not found between school climate or teacher support and ADV on depressive symptomology or subjective well-being. This study emphasizes the importance of continuing to explore ADV among Canadian youth, as well as the role that school climate plays in adolescent mental health. Future research should also explore mechanisms that explain the ADV-depressive symptoms/subjective well-being associations, to identify protective factors and advance a strength-based approach to ADV research.
Adolescent dating violence, Depressive symptomology, Resilience, Subjective well-being, Youth
Kermer, L. E. (2023). The association between adolescent dating violence, depressive symptomology, and subjective well-being: school climate as a protective factor (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from