Motives for physical dating violence among college students: A gendered analysis


Objective: Little research examines factors contributing to specific motives for physical dating violence (DV) perpetration. This study explores this gap in the literature with a specific focus on gender, coping, DV perpetration and victimization, and attitudes toward violence. Method: The sample included 221 college students who reported a history of physical DV perpetration and completed surveys for course credit. Results: Physical DV motivated by emotional expression/dysregulation was associated with physical DV perpetration frequency and disengagement coping for the full sample, and associated with accepting attitudes toward physical DV among women only. Physical DV motivated by control/tough guise was associated with accepting attitudes toward physical DV for the full sample, and physical DV perpetration frequency more strongly for men than women. Physical DV motivated by self-defense was associated with disengagement coping for the full sample, DV perpetration frequency for men, and physical DV victimization frequency more strongly for women than men. Conclusion: Results suggest that DV prevention programming for college students should incorporate focus on coping skills and decreasing accepting attitudes of DV. Results also provide preliminary support for gender-specific tailoring of programs that incorporate emotion regulation and communication skills for women; and among men, deconstructing patriarchal values among frequent perpetrators. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

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Psychology of Violence


American Psychological Association

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