relationship violence, domestic violence, perpetration, beliefs, sociodemographics, college students
This study examines relationship violence among college students, focusing on the predictive roles of their sociodemographic characteristics and domestic violence beliefs. College students experience an extremely high level of abuse among intimate partners, with prevalence rates ranging between 20 and 50%. Since relationship violence among college students is such a widespread problem, it is important to understand what lies at the foundation of this type of abuse. Findings from previous studies demonstrate correlations between sociodemographic characteristics and perpetration of relationship violence as well as correlations between beliefs supportive of abuse among intimate partners and perpetration of relationship violence. However, research to date fails to fully explore the potential interactions between these variables. In an attempt to fill this void, the current study uses data from the Relationship Characteristics Study conducted in 2001, which includes a sample of 1,938 college students, to provide a more comprehensive understanding of relationship violence among college students. This study examines the associations between students' (1) sociodemographic characteristics, including race and ethnicity, university year, parents' education, family income, parents' marital status, and students' relationship status as well as additional risk factors, consisting of alcohol consumption, drug use, and witnessing interparental violence, (2) domestic violence beliefs, including empirically-based and myth-based domestic violence causation endorsements as well as physical and sexual abuse, stalking, and verbal abuse definitions, and (3) relationship violence perpetration, including negotiation, psychological aggression, physical assault, sexual coercion, and injury. Separate analyses are conducted for male and female college students. Based on previous research and theoretical foundations, it was expected that both college students' sociodemographic characteristics and their domestic violence beliefs would be predictive of relationship violence perpetration. It was further hypothesized that students' sociodemographic characteristics would impact their domestic violence beliefs. Findings generally support these expectations. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Sociology and Anthropology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Nabors, Erin, "Relationship Violence Among College Students: The Predictive Power Of Sociodemographic Characteristicsand Domestic Violence Beli" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1002.