Patterns of Partner and Nonpartner Violence Among High-Risk Youth

Heinze, J. E., Carter, P. M., Ngo, Q., Zimmerman, M. A., Walton, M. A., & Cunningham, R. M. (2018). Patterns of Partner and Nonpartner Violence Among High-Risk YouthJournal of Adolescent Health62(5), 598-604.


Purpose: Perpetration of violent behavior begins to increase in adolescence and peaks in young adulthood (e.g., age 18-29) before decreasing by the early 30s. Considerable variability in reported perpetration, targets, and severity of violence suggests youth may change their violent behavior patterns over time.

Methods: We use latent transition analysis to describe profiles of violent behavior against partners and nonpartners in an at-risk sample of young adults (N = 599; 59% male; 61% African-American) over a period of 2 years.

Results: A four-class solution provided the best fit to the data, with classes corresponding to (1) nonviolent behavior (48.3% of the sample); (2) violent only toward nonpartners (22.3%); (3) violent only toward partners (16.0%); and (4) violent toward nonpartners and partners (13.4%). Participants’ sex, race, age, previous violent injury, antisocial behavior, alcohol dependence, and possession of firearms were associated with baseline class membership.

Conclusions: Implications for prevention are discussed.


Keywords: Partner, peers, transition, violence, young adult