Prevalence and Determinants of Dating Violence: An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses

Objective: Dating violence (DV) is a psychosocial problem which impacts the health and wellbeing of affected individuals. Many studies have reported a high prevalence and various determinants of DV; however, there is a gap of consolidated evidence on this problem. This umbrella review aimed to synthesize the current evidence on the prevalence and determinants of DV from systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Methods: We systematically searched ten major databases and additional sources to retrieve systematic reviews or meta-analyses reporting prevalence or determinants of DV, published as peer-reviewed journal articles in English language till October 13, 2019. We extracted and synthesized the findings, reported the prevalence of DV, and categorized the determinants of DV using the socioecological model.

Results: We found 16 eligible systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Most of these studies were conducted in developed countries with a majority of adolescent and young adult participants. Studies reported varying prevalence of physical, sexual, psychological/emotional, and technology-assisted DV ranging from 0.1% to 57.5%, 0.1% to 64.6%, 4.2% to 97%, and 5.8% to 92%, respectively. The determinants of DV at different socioecological levels, including individual behavior, substance abuse, psychiatric conditions, experiencing violence and maltreatment; interpersonal factors like family and peer relationships; community and neighborhood characteristics; patriarchy, culture, and socioeconomic equalities were reported.

Conclusions: These findings suggest a high burden of DV among young populations, who are vulnerable to various socioecological determinants of DV. Future research should examine how these factors influence DV and multi-level interventions should be adopted to address the same.