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Lower Salaries Linked to Dating Violence in Adolescence

Update Date: Aug 27, 2013 05:10 PM EDT
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Dating violence in adolescence can lead to less education and lower earnings later in life, according to a new study.

Researchers found that teen girls' educational performance may be disrupted by her partner's actions such as destroying books or homework or causing injuries that stops her from going to school.

 Researchers analyzed data from about 500 single mothers.  The women were on average 32 years old and earned less than $7,000 per year.  The findings revealed that participants who had been victimized by dating partners as adolescents obtained significantly less education.

The study found that each additional year of education was associated with an extra $855 in earnings.  

Lead researcher Adrienne Adam, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, witnessed first-hand the economic barriers faced by abuse victims when she worked at a domestic violence shelter.

"It was woman after woman coming into the shelter trying to find a job and a house she could afford - trying to reestablish life on her own," Adams said. "Many women would end up going back to their abusive relationship because they couldn't make it on their own financially."

Researchers said the latest findings highlight the need for programs and efforts to support victims' education and career development throughout their lives.

"There's vast evidence showing how important education is for people's quality of life," Adams said. "Providing educational and career-development support for women who are abused seems like an obvious choice in terms of societal investment."

The findings are published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

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