Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Teen dating violence is a national epidemic with prevalence similar to levels of adult dating and domestic violence. Some states order of protection laws currently fails to protect most teen victims experiencing dating violence. The purpose of this experimental, quantitative study was to determine to what extent domestic violence statutes impact the reporting of teen dating violence in states that provide statutory protection of teen dating violence victims. The advocacy coalition framework was used for the study's theoretical foundation. The research questions focused on differences between the strength of state's advocacy coalition programs, and the prevalence of female teens reporting dating violence. One-way ANOVAs and Games-Howell post hoc tests were used to analyze existing data acquired from Center for Disease Control 2011 State Youth Risk Behavioral Survey of 39,184 high school females from 43 states; 2010 Break the Cycle State Law Report Cards, and 2011-2015 Domestic Violence Counts: National Census of Domestic Violence Services. Findings indicate a statistically significant difference between states that do not provide statutory protection for teen victims and states that do provide statutory protection (p < .001) and implied that stronger state advocacy and coalition programs resulted in higher reported incidents of physical dating violence among female teens. Implications for positive social change include recommendations to lawmakers and crime prevention specialists to consider changes in domestic violence statutes to protect teen victims, provide specific statutory remedy for teen victims and reduce the frequency of teen dating violence as result of increased reporting.