Publications Publication - Associations between neighborhood characteristics and dating violence: does spatial scale matter?


Une publication parue dans Int J Health Geogr 21, 6 (2022), soutenue par l'axe Politiques publiques et santé des populations suite au concours de soutien aux publications 2021-2022. Félicitations à Paul Rodrigues et collègues !


Paul Rodrigues, Martine Hébert & Mathieu Philibert 



Dating violence (DV) is a public health problem that could have serious repercussions for the health and well-being of a large number of adolescents. Several neighborhood characteristics could influence these behaviors, but knowledge on such influences is still limited. This study aims at (1) evaluating the associations between neighborhood characteristics and DV, and (2) assessing how spatial scale influences the estimations of the latter associations.


The Québec Health Survey of High School Students (2016–2017) was used to describe DV. Neighborhoods were operationalized with polygon-based network buffers of varying sizes (ranging from 250 to 1000 m). Multiple data sources were used to describe neighborhood characteristics: crime rate, alcohol outlet density (on-premises and off-premises), walkability, greenness, green spaces density, and youth organizations density. Gendered-stratified logistic regressions were used for assessing the association between neighborhood characteristics and DV.


For boys, off-premises alcohol outlet density (500 m) is associated with an increase in perpetrating psychological DV. Crime rate (500 m) is positively associated with physical or sexual DV perpetration, and crime rate (250 m) is positively associated with physical or sexual DV victimization. Greenness (1000 m) has a protective effect on psychological DV victimization. For girls, walkability (500 m to 1000 m) is associated with a decrease in perpetrating and experiencing psychological DV, and walkability (250 m) is negatively associated with physical or sexual DV victimization.


Several neighborhood characteristics are likely to influence DV, and their effects depend on the form of DV, gender, and spatial scale. Public policies should develop neighborhood-level interventions by improving neighborhood living conditions.