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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Vital Signs: Violence Impacts Teens’ Lives

General Material
Published Date
February, 2021

This CDC Vital Signs report examines the types of violence experienced by teens age 14 to 18 years old and highlights how experiences of violence are associated with health conditions and risky behaviors. Far too commonly, teens 14 to 18 years old experience violence, often more than one type, such as physical fighting, sexual violence, dating violence, and bullying.

Data from 2019 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) provide key insights into the violence experiences of teens aged 14 to 18:

  • As teens experience more violence, their involvement in risky behaviors increases. Teens’ engagement in risk behaviors was up to 7 times higher among those with two types of violence and up to 21 times higher among those experiencing three or more types of violence than teens with no violence experiences.
  • About half (44.3%) of teens experienced at least one type of violence and 1 in 7 (15.6%) of teens experienced at least two types of violence in the 12 months before the survey.
  • Female teens are more likely than males to experience three or more types of violence, as are sexual minority teens compared to heterosexual peers.

Preventing violence is key to promoting teen and adult health. Violence can affect teens’ health and increase the chance of developing cancer, heart disease, or other health problems in adulthood. Collaboration among multiple sectors can ensure the effective implementation of strategies to help youth and communities be safe and thrive.