Teen Dating Violence Help-Seeking Intentions and Behaviors Among Ethnically and Racially Diverse Youth: A Systematic Review

Diana M. Padilla-Medina, Jessica R. Williams, Kristen Ravi, Bernadette Ombayo, Beverly M. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Teen dating violence (TDV) affects millions of youth in the United States and globally each year. A systematic review was conducted to examine the help-seeking intentions and behaviors of youth between the ages of 12 and 19 based on racial and ethnic differences. Considering the high prevalence of TDV among racially and ethnically diverse youth, previous systematic reviews have recommended that future scholarship address help-seeking intentions and behaviors among racially and ethnically diverse youth. The methodologies and results of TDV and help-seeking studies published since 2000 were reviewed and analyzed. A systematic search of peer-reviewed journal articles published in English was conducted using an electronic search. The rigorous search identified 10 studies that addressed help-seeking intentions and behaviors and racial and ethnic differences in youth meeting eligibility requirements. The search yielded few studies, indicating a need to conduct future research in this area. The strength of the studies’ methodologies limited generalizability and external validity. The studies primarily addressed differences among African American and Latino youth. Youth relied on informal sources of support, with youth from both groups preferring to seek help from parents and friends. Mistrust, lack of closeness, and feelings of mistrust, shame, and embarrassment informed youths’ help-seeking intentions and behaviors. Racially and ethnically specific factors such as negative perceptions of father figures, familism, acculturation, and traditional gender role notions were identified as barriers to help-seeking. As part of appraising and synthesizing the evidence, recommendations for research, practice, and policy are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages17
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Early online date20 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Teen Dating Violence Help-Seeking Intentions and Behaviors Among Ethnically and Racially Diverse Youth: A Systematic Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this