But as they seek to understand why so many young people hit, demean or force sex on their partners, much remains unclear.
One big question: Are boys and girls really equally at risk to become victims or abusers?
Some studies suggest they are and that girls may even be more likely than boys to lash out physically.
Youths report emotional, physical and sexual abuse In 2012, the National Dating Abuse Helpline was contacted 39,938 times.
The 24-hour service is available at at 1-866-331-9474, or by texting "loveis" to 22522.
In this 2010 photo North Plainfield High School drama students Luis Salazar, right, as "C.
J.," and Melissa Torres, as "Angela," are shown during a rehearsal of "Don't U Luv Me," a play that explores the concept of violence in teen dating at North Plainfield High School in North Plainfield, N. More than a third of teen guys and girls say they've been physically, emotionally or sexually abused in their dating relationships, according to new, unpublished data from a nationwide survey.
Girls were more likely to say they had physically abused their partners; boys were "much more likely" to say they had sexually abused someone, the association says.
But it did not provide specific numbers on those differences.
The survey also found that 29% of girls and 24% of guys said they had been both victims and abusers, in the same or different relationships.
Similar numbers of both sexes say they've been abusers.
Additional new research shows teens who abuse their girlfriends and boyfriends often share a past as middle-school bullies.