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Differences in Adolescent Relationship Abuse Perpetration and Gender-Inequitable Attitudes by Sport Among Male High School Athletes

Abstract Purpose School-based athletic programs remain an important context for violence prevention efforts although a better understanding of how gender attitudes and abuse perpetration differ among athletes is needed. Methods We analyzed baseline survey data from the “Coaching Boys into Men” study—a school-based cluster-randomized trial in 16 high schools in Northern California. We describe relationships among gender-inequitable attitudes, sport type, and recent adolescent relationship abuse perpetration among a sample of male athletes (n = 1,648). Results Gender-inequitable attitudes (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 3.26; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.56, 4.15), participation in both high school football and basketball (AOR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.37, 3.18), and participation in football only (AOR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.02, 2.22) emerged as independently associated with recent ARA perpetration. Conclusions Findings warrant targeted violence prevention efforts among male high school athletes that incorporate discussions of gender attitudes and healthy relationships, especially among sports teams at greater risk of adolescent relationship abuse perpetration.