The Violence On The Dating 

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Dating violence is the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple the other member in the context of dating or courtship — the high rates of dating violence and its associated adverse outcomes among college students. Researchers have focused on understanding the correlations and predictors of dating violence to inform primary prevention. In past research, it has shown most variables predict whether or not individuals perpetrate dating violence an have seen the importance of the motives for dating violence. This current study will show a sample of young men and women who all have had physical dating abuse and examined for all types of motives from their relationships, including victimization, attitudes, and coping strategies. Also, research shows that men’s use of violence is more controlling and having power, while women’s use of force is emotional expressions and reactions. However, strong evidence shows that males and females engage in similar numbers of nonsexual violence against intimate partners. Intimate partner violence can happen to women between the ages of 20 and 29, causing them to die (Cercone, Beach, & Arias, 2005). Intimate partner violence is domestic violence by a current partner or former spouse (Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2005). Dating violence involves abusive behaviors that occur within the context of a dating relationship in which two individuals share an emotional, romantic, andor sexual connection beyond friendship (Hogan, B. 2018). However, they are not married, engaged, or in a similarly committed relationship. Dating violence can include physical, sexual, and psychological or emotional abuse and is common among college students.

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The sample included 221 college students (89 men and 132 women) who reported a history of physical dating violence perpetration obtained from a sample of 250 participants (50 men and 200 women) and who participated in a more extensive mixed- study assessing students perceptions of abuse in dating relationships. The average age of participants was between 19 and 25, and most participants were (86%) self-identified as White, followed by Black(5%) , Other/Multiracial (4%), Asian/Pacific Islander (2%), and Latino/Hispanic (0.9%). Most (86.4%) of the sample reported exclusively heterosexual experiences, whereas 13.6% of the sample reported more heterosexual experiences than homosexual experiences, more homosexual than heterosexual backgrounds, or equal heterosexual and homosexual experiences.

Assessments and Measures

This measure shows the sample of individuals who had engaged in any physical dating violence perpetration. Of the 221 participants receiving a score by adding points, for each of the response categories endorsed by the participant as representing the total number of instances across all physical dating violence items for the physical dating victimization. Participants responded to the question, ‘How often did you become aggressive, including hitting, slapping, or pushing and so forth toward a partner from above? In a range from 0 (never) to 3 (almost always), about their general use of physical dating violence from an incident or time frame.

Coping Strategies. Coping strategies are used in response to dating relationship stress. Participants to refer to how they handled a self-identified stressful event that occurred in the past month, asking participants, “please read each item below to determine the extent to which you used it in handling your chosen event.” In the current study, these instructions modified such that instructions read: “Take a moment to think about how you generally respond to difficult or stressful events in your dating relationships, such as conflict. Then read through each item below and determine which you use each when confronted by a difficult or stressful event in your dating relationships. These instructions were references to generally coping strategies in a dating relationship. Participants responded to each item on a 5 point scale, for example, “ I avoided thinking or doing anything about the situation.” (Tan, S. 2018) This was to get the participants to take a survey on the issues through their abusive relationships.

Attitudes towards dating violence . Attitudes from females and males lead to physical dating violence. For example, “Some girls deserve to be slapped by their boyfriends,” and women’s use of physical dating violence toward men was, “ Sometimes girls just cannot stop themselves from punching their boyfriends.” (Snow, D. L. 2009)

For each item, participants are directed to “please express your feelings about each statement by using the scale below,” which is a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Summed scores were computed separately for each of the two sub-scales; higher scores were indicative of more accepting attitudes toward DV.


More specifically, higher frequency of physical dating violence and greater disengagement coping were substantial correlates of physical dating violence motivated by emotional expression. The gender by attitudes toward women’s use of material DV interaction term was also visible, and examination of this term showed that among women, more accepting attitudes toward women’s use of physical DV associated with higher physical DV motivated by emotional expression/dysregulation. However, among men, the relationship between attitudes toward women’s use of physical DV and violence driven by nonsignificant. The final model assessing correlates of the control/robust guise motive was significant; it represented 50.9% of the variance in this motive.

Also, more accepting attitudes toward both women’s and men’s use of physical DV were substantial correlates of physical DV motivated by tough guise (Kelley, E. L 2015). The significant gender by frequency of physical dating violence interaction showed that a higher rate of physical DV perpetration was associated with violence motivated by control/tough guise among both men and women; however, the relationship was stronger for men than women.

However, specifically, greater disengagement coping was positively associated with physical DV motivated by self-defense. Examination of the gender by frequency of physical dating violence interaction showed that a higher rate of physical DV perpetration was associated with violence motivated by self-defense, among men, but that this relationship was non- significant among women. The interaction of gender and physical DV victimization revealed that more frequent physical DV victimization was associated with violence motivated by self-defense, among both men and women but that the relationship was stronger for women than men.


The current study examined male and female college student perpetrators’ motives for the use of physical dating violence. Yet, female perpetrators were more likely than male perpetrators to report purposes of emotional expression, and male perpetrators were more likely to state causes of control and power than female perpetrators. These findings were on direct comparisons between genders, and the use of a comprehensive and psychometrically sound measure of motives, help to shed light on some of the conflicting findings documented in previous studies (Caldwell, J. E 2009). However, these findings regarding gender differences in specific incentives are more by significant interactions between gender and attitudes toward women’s use of physical DV and the frequency of DV victimization. In this study, we also explored how gender interacted with other vital variables to predict reasons for physical DV and identified some interesting effects. This finding provides support for the application of social learning theory, such that young adults who learn to cope with strategies may apply such an approach when dealing with relationship conflict, leading them to resort to physical DV when they need to express their emotions. In this way, the use of violence for emotional expression may be a form of coping. As conflict is ubiquitous within relationships, it was not surprising that individuals whose force is motivated by needs for emotional expression would have a higher frequency of previous physical DV perpetration, as was found in the current study. In this sense, individuals who have a more difficult time expressing negative emotions related to their relationship issues or conflict may more often resort to physical violence.

Additionally, there was an interaction between attitudes toward women’s use of force and gender, such that among women, positive attitudes toward women’s use of violence were related to higher physical dating violence for emotional expression. This result suggests that women who have learned that violence is an acceptable form of emotional expression will be more likely to turn to violence for emotionally expressive reasons when conflict arises. That this interaction was non-significant among men was unsurprising, given that one would not expect that men’s use of violence for emotional expression by their attitudes toward women’s use of physical abuse. However, it is interesting that men’s attitudes toward men’s use of physical DV were not associated with physical DV motivated by emotional expression/dysregulation, and additional research should attempt to replicate and understand this finding further. Perhaps these gender-parallel attitudes toward DV were more salient for women concerning DV motivated by emotional expression in part because of the conclusion that women are more motivated than men by emotional expression to engage in physical DV, making their attitudes more salient.


In summary, women are more likely to be abused in their relationships. These findings advance the understanding that both men and women should seek help if they are experiencing abuse from their partners. Also, learning coping skills and other developmental issues to more fully and confidently understand the theoretical links in dating violence.                                                            

07 July 2022

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