Factors Associated with Sexual and Dating Violence in Adolescent Male Youth with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationAcademic


Youth with mild intellectual disabilities (MID) experience difficulties in socio-emotional and cognitive domains, heightening risks of undesirable sexual experiences. Additionally, males with MID risk perpetrating sexual violence. Our project, a cluster RCT, tests the effects of a program that aims to improve psychosexual health and prevent undesirable sexual experiences of Dutch male youth with MID. Although sexual risks among these youth are well-known, research on their psychosexual development and factors predicting undesirable sexual experiences is scarce. Hence, this pre-registered study - using baseline data from the project - aims to:
1) Describe baselines of the intended outcomes of the program for male youth with MID and their romantic and sexual development.
2) Assess how the factors that this program aims to change (i.e., global self-esteem, peer pressure, sexual knowledge and five sexual and dating violence (SDV)-related attitudes) link to the undesirable sexual experiences that it aims to prevent: (intended) SDV perpetration and victimization.
The preliminary sample included n=71 boys (M=15 years) in special education and residential youth care. To enable self-report, questions in the online questionnaires were simplified and audiotaped. Analyses included inspecting descriptives and running regression analyses in SPSS version 28.
Preliminary results indicated 83.8% of boys had romantic experience, 45% had kissed and 31.3% had (non-)coital sexual experience. Preliminary regression analyses indicated only adherence to sexual double standards was related to higher SDV intentions. Only dating violence attitudes and positive attitudes towards communicating with sexual partners were related to higher chances of SDV perpetration. Only more sexual knowledge was related to higher chances of SDV victimization. At SRA, we will present analyses with the full baseline sample (N±138), a fourth outcome: sexual risk behavior, and tests of three possible confounders.
This study sheds first light on sexuality in Dutch male youth with MID. Results indicated significant relations between theoretically expected factors and undesirable sexual experiences, and suggest that the program focuses on relevant mechanisms for the prevention of these experiences. Moreover, high percentages of romantic relationship experience and commencing levels of sexual experience in this sample suggest that SDV prevention around the age of 15 is appropriately timed for this target group.
Period20 Apr 2023
Event titleDPECS Graduate Research Day 2023
Event typeConference
LocationRotterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal