A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health examined the potential association between a spectrum of childhood adverse experiences and physical violence in relationships before age 21 for both members.The subjects were asked questions about violence in their adolescent relationships, as either victim or perpetrator, and their childhood surrounding twelve different adversities: parental death, parental divorce, long-term separation from parent, parental mental illness, parental substance abuse disorder, parental criminality, inter-parental violence, serious physical illness in childhood, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and family economic adversity.

A survey conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited stated that "[10] percent of teens have been threatened physically via e-mail, IM, text messaging, chat rooms, etc." A 2008 meta-analysis, which examined 62 empirical research studies between 19, relating to domestic violence in heterosexual intimate relationships from adolescence through to adulthood in the United States, reported on research findings that consistently show that adolescent females commit significantly more acts of domestic violence in intimate relationships than adolescent males.

It stated, however, that the "data also suggest that females who commit acts of domestic violence may experience more violent or frequent IPV victimization than males" and that "[t]he highest rates [for female-perpetrated IPV] were found for emotional violence, followed by physical and sexual violence.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescents is an important realm of study as, in addition to the usual negative effects of abuse, this violence occurs at a critical period in the social and mental development of a person.

This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.

Sexual behavior and aggression can be so deeply intertwined that the legality of underage consensual sex is sure to have an effect on teen dating violence.

Significant research has been done on the causes behind violent behavior in adolescent dating relationships with the intention of guiding the creation of dating violence prevention programs, and in turn has provided findings on the roles of nature and nurture in the development of such behavior with a strong favor towards nurture factors.

Higher testosterone levels “manifests itself in various intensities and forms from; thoughts, anger, verbal aggressiveness, competition, dominance behavior, to physical violence.” A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism reported, “Testosterone plays a significant role in the arousal of these behavioral manifestations in the brain centers involved in aggression and on the development of the muscular system that enables their realization.

There is evidence that testosterone levels are higher in individuals with aggressive behavior, such as prisoners who have committed violent crimes.” However, the study also noted that many cases of high testosterone levels are disarmed through socialization.

It is important to note that although male and female adolescents do not differ in "overall frequency of violence in dating relationships," females are subject to "significantly higher levels of severe violence".

This fact begs the question of whether abuse should be evaluated based on “severity” and how that can and should be measured, or if all abuse should be considered equally harmful.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been a well examined and documented phenomenon in adults; however, there has not been nearly as much study on violence in adolescent dating relationships, and it is therefore not as well understood.