Using data from the International Dating Violence Study, this study examined the roles of early socialization, family social structure, and relationship dynamics factors on physical aggression in dating among U.S. college students in emerging adulthood.
The interaction effects between these three domains of interest (early socialization, family social structure, and relationship dynamics) were explored to understand the underlying mechanisms that influenced victimization and perpetration in dating.
In general, we found that family and relational variables associated with dating victimization and perpetration were fairly similar. Among the early socialization variables, experience of childhood neglect and having witnessed domestic violence were significantly related to victimization and perpetration. Living in a two-parent household appeared to exert a protective effect, although associations with parental education were not statistically significant.
Furthermore, the participants were more likely to experience victimization or impose aggression in dating relationships which were characterized by conflicts, distress, dominance, or psychological aggression. Overall, for the participants who came from a two-parent household, dominance in dating was linked to less violence.
When the participants faced higher levels of psychological aggression, adverse early socialization factors were associated with higher levels of dating violence victimization and perpetration. Research and practice implications were discussed.
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- 1The University of Texas at El Paso, USA firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, USA.
- J Interpers Violence. 2016 Mar 27. pii: 0886260516640544
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