Self-Efficacy to Refuse Sex Mediates the Relationship Between Dating Violence Victimization and Sexual Risk Behavior

Briana Edison, Shristi Bhochhibhoya, Elizabeth R. Baumler, Christine M. Markham, Melissa F. Peskin, Ross Shegog, Susan T. Emery, Robert C. Addy, Jeff R. Temple, Dennis E. Reidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: While cross-sectional studies have shown that teen dating violence (TDV) victimization is linked to sexual risk behavior (SRB), the pathway between these variables is not well-understood. To address this knowledge gap, we explore the mediating role of self-efficacy to refuse sex in the longitudinal relationship between physical TDV victimization and subsequent SRB among adolescents. Methods: Self-report data from three prior longitudinal studies were harmonized to create a single aggregated sample of primarily racial and ethnic minority adolescents (N = 4,620; 51.4% Hispanic, 38.5% Black, and 58% female) from 44 schools in the southwest U.S. Participants' physical TDV victimization at baseline (seventh and eighth grade), self-efficacy to refuse sex at 12-month follow-up, and SRB at 24-month follow-up was tested using mediation models with bias corrected bootstrapped confidence intervals. All regression models controlled for age, race, parental education, SRB at baseline, and intervention status. Results: Physical TDV victimization at baseline was associated with refusal self-efficacy at 12 months and SRB (e.g., frequency of vaginal and oral sex, lifetime number of vaginal sex partners, and number of vaginal sex partners in the past three months without condom use) at 24 months. Refusal self-efficacy mediated the link between physical TDV victimization and increased risk of SRB for females and males, to a lesser extent. Discussion: Adolescent victims of physical TDV report diminished self-efficacy to refuse sex, predisposing them to engage in SRBs, including condomless sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-536
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Teen dating violence
  • self-efficacy
  • sexual risk behavior
  • teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-Efficacy to Refuse Sex Mediates the Relationship Between Dating Violence Victimization and Sexual Risk Behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this