Aysha Mabin

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Science


Ambika Krishnakumar


mental health;protective factor;risk behavior;teen dating violence;victimization


Approximately 10% of male and 21% of female high school students report having experienced physical and/or sexual victimization in a dating relationship (Vagi et al., 2015). Multiple sources report that Black/African American teens have the highest rates of teen dating violence (TDV) victimization (CDC, 2017; Eaton et al., 2012). Data for this study comes from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS) collected from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2015, 2017, and 2019. A limited but growing field of research examines the effects of risk behaviors on TDV among teens. Among Black teens, the present study uses path analysis to (1) analyze the risk factors (e.g., early initiation of risky behaviors, violent behaviors, risky sexual behaviors, substance use, and risky driving behaviors) of TDV victimization (2) determine if a positive school environment can help to prevent TDV victimization and (3) determine the mental health outcomes of TDV victimization. Findings indicated that all early and current risk behaviors included in the study were associated with TDV, and the early risk behaviors mediated the relationship between TDV and mental health outcomes. At the same time, a positive school environment did not serve as a protective factor. Findings provide insights into the complex relationship between early and current risk behaviors, mental health outcomes, and TDV victimization – to better understand the opportunities for the development of prevention and intervention programs geared around early and current risk behaviors, mental health, and TDV victimization specific to Black teens.


Open Access