A surprising and fairly depressing article from Reuters earlier this week examines two recent studies on adolescent romantic relationships in conjunction with physical and emotional abuse. Both studies, one online survey completed by Liz Claiborne Inc. and the other conducted by Christian Forke of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, make references to the high rates of violence in preteen and teen relationships.
Clairborne's study makes a strong connection between abuse and early sexual activity, while Forke's findings iterate that emotional abuse can lead to other kinds of abuse later on. As noted in the article:
Forke found emotional violence — which includes verbal abuse and subjecting a partner to controlling behavior and put-downs — was the most common type of violence at all ages, especially before college. Forke surveyed students at three urban colleges and found nearly 45 percent had experienced relationship violence before or during college.
Abuse is never OK, but when coupled with youth and love, I imagine it can be especially damaging, specifically in regards to future relationships. While I certainly hope none of us experienced abuse as teenagers in love, I wonder: Did your early relationships affect your future or current relationships? Were your youthful love affairs positive or negative experiences?