One in three American youths say they have been victimized by dating violence, and nearly as many admit to perpetrating it — girls included.

A new study presented at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting on Wednesday described rates of physical, sexual, or psychological violence toward partners in a dating relationship among youths ages 14-20.

Interestingly, one-third of girls admitted to waging forms of abuse toward a dating partner, though they were more likely to perpetrate acts of psychological violence than physical or sexual violence. Other key findings described a racial-ethnic difference in forms of violence waged by boys, as Latinos were more likely to perpetrate sexual violence against girls but less likely than more Anglicized boys to engage in psychological abuse.

"These rates of adolescent dating violence are alarming and suggest that dating violence is simply too common among our youth," Michele Ybarra, an expert with the Center for Innovative Public Health Research, told reporters.

Investigators culled information collected in 2011 and 2012 from more than 1,000 American teenagers in the "Growing Up with Media" study, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Girls admitted to waging violent acts against dating partners nearly as often as boys, with 41 percent reporting victimization and 35 percent reporting aggression. Among boys, 37 percent said they had been victimized by physical violence while 29 percent reported committing such acts, Ybarra said.

In approximately one-quarter of teenage relationships, physical violence was a mutual thing.

However, girls were still less likely than boys to perpetrate sexual violence against a partner, but committed acts of psychological violence at rates equal to boys. Rates of this type of violence increased with age but did not vary across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

"The significant overlap of victimization, perpetration and the different kinds of teen dating violence makes it important when designing prevention programs not to assume there are distinct victims and perpetrators," Ybarra said. "We need to think about the dynamics within relationships that may result in someone both perpetrating and being victimized by their partner; as well as the extent to which dating abuse may follow a teen from one relationship to another."

Psychologists also presented findings on the relationship between bullying and teenage dating violence, based on work funded by the CDC and National Institute of Justice.

"Both boys and girls who engaged in high rates of bullying toward other students at the start of the study were seven times more likely to report being physically violent in dating relationships four years later," Dorothy L. Espelage, of Arizona State University, said. "These findings indicate that bully prevention needs to start early in order to prevent the transmission of violence in dating relationships."

Based on a representative survey of 625 American teenagers, Espelage recommended that adults intervene early to prevent bullying from escalating to violence in youthful dating relationships.