Psychological abuse perpetration in college dating relationships


03-Jul-2015 05:27

A sample of 3,716 participants, aged 15 to 67 years, filled in one attitudinal questionnaire and a self-report instrument on abuse perpetration and victimization.

Attitudinal data revealed a general disapproval of violence use, with greater violence support among males and married participants.

When comparing violence in both relational contexts, we found that, in terms of perpetration, more dating partners reported physical abuse and severe forms of physical abuse than married partners. Marital violence has been a widely studied topic since the seventies, whereas violence between dating partners has become the object of growing attention since Makepeace pioneer study in 1981 [1].

This study revealed that one in every five college students was affected by this problem, whereas 61% of participants revealed that they knew young people who had gone through an abusive dating experience.

Regarding violence in married couples, the World Report on Violence and Health [2], based on information collected in 38 countries, places rates of lifetime prevalence at between 10% and 76%.

Similarly, a recent literature review in the European context reported high rates of victimization over lifetimes, varying from 16% to 39% [3].

In the following literature review, we begin by showing how research in the area of marital and dating violence has increased; we then present and discuss the results of the few available studies comparing levels of violence across these two distinct relational contexts—marriage and dating; finally, we concentrate on investigations that analyze the relationships between attitudes and behaviors.

Empirical findings show quite high levels of violence within both types of relationships.

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Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Fernando Pessoa, Praça 9 de Abril, 349, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal Received 17 April 2014; Revised 13 July 2014; Accepted 29 July 2014; Published 28 August 2014Academic Editor: Julianne C. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This study examines the attitudes about intimate violence and compares the prevalence of abuse reported by married and dating participants, by type of abuse and sex of respondent.