FAB 400

A logo for the FAB 400 project. At the top is the logos of Northwestern University and University of Cincinnati.

FAB 400 is a study that seeks to understand relationship dynamics and personal development among young LGBTQ people assigned female at birth (AFAB) in Chicago. Specifically, we want to know why some young people get involved in relationships and others don’t, and what makes some relationships healthy while others become unhealthy or violent.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health concern, with young sexual and gender minority AFAB people at an elevated risk of both IPV and its negative consequences. In fact, sexual minority adolescents report 2-3 times higher rates of IPV victimization than heterosexual teens [1-4].

FAB 400 aims to:

  • Describe IPV in a large sample of young, ethnically diverse AFAB people across adolescence and young adulthood
  • Identify risk and protective factors for IPV among young AFAB people
  • Examine factors that hinder and promote help-seeking for experience of IPV in young AFAB people
  • Evaluate the consequences of IPV in young AFAB people

This is a longitudinal study, which allows us to analyze how relationships form, change, and vary over time and how the relationships are impacted by internal and external factors. We hope that this research will contribute to the development of evidence-based policies and programs to prevent IPV among young LGBTQ people and provide culturally competent support to those who have experienced IPV.

This project is a collaboration between Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati. It began enrollment in November 2016.

Principle Investigator: Dr. Sarah Whitton
Site Principle Investigator: Dr. Michael Newcomb
Project Coordinator: Parks Dunlap
Funder: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


[1] Freedner N, Freed LH, Yang YW, Austin SB. Dating violence among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: results from a community survey. J Adolesc Health. 2002;31(6):469-474.

[2] Kann L, Olsen EO, McManus T, et al. Sexual identity, sex of sexual contacts, and health-risk behaviors among students in grades 9-12–youth risk behavior surveillance, selected sites, United States, 2001-2009. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011;60(7):1-133.

[3] Martin-Storey A. Prevalence of dating violence among sexual minority youth: variation across gender, sexual minority identity and gender of sexual partners. J Youth Adolesc. 2015;44(1):211-224.

[4] Rhodes SD, McCoy TP, Wilkin AM, Wolfson M. Behavioral risk disparities in a random sample of self-identifying gay and non-gay male university students. J Homosex. 2009;56(8):1083-1100.