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Link Between Teenage Violence and Domestic Violence Found

A new study has found that kids who engage in violent behaviour in their teenage years are more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid 20s .

The study, by researchers at the University of Washington, found that youth violence and domestic violence are not unrelated problems as previously believed, and that those teens who get violent in their adolescence are more likely to be violent as adults.

Most people think youth violence and domestic violence are separate problems, but this study shows that they are intertwined, said Todd Herrenkohl, lead author of the study and a UW associate professor of social work.

As a part of the study the researchers analysed data from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project which has been tracing youth development and the social and antisocial behaviour of more than 800 participants between the ages of 13 and 18.

The Seattle Social Development Project had shown four patterns of youth:

Non-offenders, the largest group (60 percent), did not engage in violent behavior in adolescence.
Desisters (15 percent) engaged in violence early on but stopped by age 16.
Chronic offenders (16 percent) began violent behaviour early and it persisted at a moderate level up to age 18.
Late increasers (9 percent) became involved with violence in mid adolescence with the behaviour increasing up to age 18.

The new study found that individuals from the last two groups were significantly more likely than non-offenders to have committed moderately severe forms of domestic violence when they were 24 years old.

At that age, nearly 650 of the original students had a partner and about 19 percent of them, or 117 individuals, reported having committed domestic violence in the past year.

The researchers also found that there was no independent link between an individuals use of alcohol or drugs and committing domest
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