The Role of School Social Support and School Social Climate in Dating Violence Victimization Prevention among Adolescents in Europe

Authorship: Barbara Jankowiak,Sylwia Jaskulska, Belén Sanz-Barbero, Alba Ayala, Jacek Pyżalski, Nicola Bowes, Karen De Claire, Sofia Neves, Joana Topa, Carmen Rodríguez-Blázquez, María Carmen Davó-Blanes, Nicoletta Rosati, María Cinque, Veronica Mocanu, Beatrice Ioan, Iwona Chmura-Rutkowska, Katarzyna Waszyńska and Carmen Vives-Cases.

The aim of the article is to show the role of school social support and school social climate in dating violence victimization prevention among adolescents in Europe. Study participants were students from secondary schools (age 13–16) in Spain, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Poland and UK. The analysis in this text concern student with dating experience (n = 993) (57.2% of girls and 66.5% of boys). School social support was measured by School Social Climate, Factor 1 Scale (CECSCE) and by Student Social Support Scale (CASSS), subscales teachers and classmates. The association between school social support and different types of dating victimization (physical and/or sexual dating violence, control dating violence and fear) was measured by calculating the prevalence ratios and their 95% confidence intervals, estimated by Poisson regression models with robust variance. All the models were adjusted by country and by sociodemographic variables. The results show that the average values of all types of social support are significantly lower in young people who have suffered any type of dating violence or were scared of their partner. The likelihood of suffering physical and/or sexual dating violence decreased when school social support increased [PR (CI 95%): 0.96 (0.92; 0.99)]. In the same way, the likelihood of fear decreased when school social climate increased [PR (CI 95%): 0.98 (0.96; 0.99)].There is an association between school social support and school social climate and experiences of being victim of dating violence among adolescents in Europe. Our results suggest that in the prevention of dating violence building a supportive climate at schools and building/using the support of peers and teachers is important.