Since then, research on dating violence has increased steadily and Yet, studies that compare violence between dating and married couples are . of violence is more common after commitments have been established. tionship commitment figures prominently in reinterpreting violence. Fifty-four M. J., & O'Neill, P. (). Violence and commitment: A study of dating couples. ABSTRACT: Dating violence is often thought of as a precursor for spousal abuse and that understanding is This study is particularly applicable to college students because the . couples are together for years and are not committed to.
The warm-up activity i. A counter-balanced approach was used to ensure that an equal number of dyads discussed the male or female issue first. No observer was present during the videotaped discussions.
Individual debriefing was provided following the interaction and a list of psychosocial resources was handed out to all participants. In the current study we focused specifically on perpetration of DV reported by the respondent against his or her current dating partner. Internal consistency for the perpetration subscale was satisfactory with an alpha score of.
This checklist includes 17 common issues of disagreement between adolescent romantic couple members, as well as an option to write issues not on the list. Researchers selected the most highly rated issue of each member of the couple to discuss during the interaction session.
This global coding system was developed to better assess the quality of problem-solving behaviors. It provides seven individual dimensions i.
Table 2 provides a brief overview of the definitions of the seven individual observed variables used in the current analysis. Individual dimensions are rated from 1 to 9, with higher scores indicating greater intensity of the behavior.
Dyadic Dynamics in Young Couples Reporting Dating Violence: An Actor-Partner interdependence model
Each discussion was used as a unit of observation for the seven individual dimensions of this study. In addition, Positive interaction and Negative interaction composite scores were created for the present study. Two graduate students, who received more than 80 hours of training, coded the interactions. Inter-rater agreement coefficient ranged from.
Preliminary analyses correlations, t tests did not support the need to use the observed variables from both discussions as scores of the first and second 7-min discussions were highly correlated and no significant differences were identified between scores.
On the basis of these results, and for matters of parsimony, only the scores from the second videotaped problem-solving discussion were used for the present analyses.
Positive affect Refers to positivity expressed through facial expressions, body positioning, and tone of voice e. For instance, in a large national sample composed of 4, participants, a significant number of students from various educational levels and age groups reported violent behaviors in their relationships The present study aims at expanding our understanding of violence in intimate relationships by comparing dating and married couples.
Violence in Intimate Relationships: A Comparison between Married and Dating Couples
Research suggests that not only does violence tend to escalate in frequency and severity over time [ 12 ] but also that violence during dating is a strong precursor of marital violence, especially if the abusive love relationship persists over time [ 1 ]. The relevance of the study of violence in dating relationships is mainly concerned with three aspects: This evidence underscores the need to study the progression from dating violence to marital violence, through developing longitudinal studies that seek to compare evolutionary patterns of violence.
Comparison of Marital and Dating Violence Some authors [ 15 ] have drawn attention to the undeniable relevance of examining theoretical and practical similarities and differences between these types of violence.
So far, the few available studies have produced somewhat contradictory results. For instance, Frias and Angel [ 16 ] found that single women reported more victimization than married women, but Brown and Bulanda [ 15 ] obtained higher victimization levels in married partners, both men and women. Stets and Straus [ 17 ], however, found lower levels of violence in dating partners but Rouse et al. Some of these studies are quite dated [ 17 ], however, use small samples [ 18 ], specific samples e.
Gender differences are one of the most debated topics when analyzing the literature on marital or dating aggression. Traditionally, males are more often regarded in the marital violence literature as the aggressors e.
For example, a recent study conducted in Portugal on gender violence based on a representative sample of participants showed that more men However, in the case of dating violence, findings regarding gender effects are mixed and inconclusive. Whereas early studies reported higher victimization rates for females and higher perpetration rates for males e. Other studies suggest that severe forms of violence are more likely to be perpetrated by females e. Taken together, these findings show that females are involved in abusive relationships as both victims and offenders.
Furthermore, a recently published study showed that, not only are females likely to be perpetrators of violence, they are most likely to perpetrate violence in the context of mutually violent relationships, and their levels of perpetration are often higher than their levels of victimization [ 27 ].
Investigations comparing marital and dating violence in terms of gender differences also exhibit mixed and inconclusive findings [ 28 ].
Contrastingly, Brown and Bulanda [ 15 ] found that married women are more likely than dating women to report violence perpetration and victimization, but dating men are less likely than married ones to report victimization. This study [ 29 ] concluded that most partner violence is mutual and that self-defense occurs only in a small proportion of partner violence cases by either men or women.
This controversy over rates of male-female victimization or perpetration highlights how important it is to take gender into account when comparing married and dating relationships. It has been argued that attitudes are one of the most consistent predictors of abusive behavior e. Furthermore, there is a tendency for adolescents to blame the victims for the occurrence of abusive incidents [ 34 ]. Even though there are empirical findings supporting a general disapproval of violence among youths [ 10 ] and adults [ 11 ], certain forms of violence are still accepted under certain circumstances [ 73536 ].
Legitimizing beliefs seem to be higher among boys [ 521 ], especially those professing more traditional attitudes toward gender roles [ 35 ], and between aggressors [ 11 ]. This gap between attitudes and behaviors found in many studies highlights the need to focus on this aspect. Current Study Our study with a large Portuguese sample is intended to fill the gap in the literature concerning studies that compare violence between dating and married couples in Portugal.
Because the few available studies in this area have produced somewhat contradictory results, in the present study we used a broad Portuguese sample of dating and married couples, including students from various educational levels and age groups, assessed with the same validated measures of behaviors and attitudes.
In this cross-sectional study, we believe that comparing levels of violence between these two different relational contexts is of relevance to identify the characteristics that are present in both marital and dating aggression; the findings may then help when developing appropriate preventive efforts to the different realities.
In short, the aims of this study were 1 to examine and compare married and dating participants regarding their attitudes about intimate violence; 2 to analyze and contrast the reported prevalence of intimate violence, both perpetrated and received, in married and dating participants; and 3 to investigate gender differences in violent perpetration and victimization, by relationship type.
Consistent with past research, it was hypothesized that participants involved in marital relationships tend to legitimize further violence and report higher indicators of severe violence, compared to participants involved in dating relationships. Likewise, it is expected that gender differences in terms of indicators of violence are higher in marital compared to dating relationships.
Most participants were married All participants lived in north Portugal. This study was approved and financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. No economic compensation was provided, and all questionnaires were anonymous. Data collection was completed between and The married sample included individuals from two-parent families with children under the age of 18 years.
Potential participants who fitted this demographic profile and were identified through the local contacts of the researchers were contacted by various means, including professional associations, leisure clubs, church settings and sports and social organizations.
Some were contacted directly by the research team; other contacts were mediated through local organizations. Each subject was then personally contacted by a researcher and invited to participate in the study. The questionnaires were individually completed by the participant or by the researcher if the individual claimed reading or comprehension difficulties. The dating sample was obtained by convenience sampling through contacts with teachers in the different educational settings considered.
The sample comprised secondary school students, professional school students professional training schools for the same age group as secondary schoolsand university students. All participants reported being in a current intimate relationship. Potential participants were invited to participate in the study and, if they agreed, they completed the questionnaires in a classroom with only the researcher present.
Data were collected in two universities Informed consent was obtained from the participants as well as from school boards. No economic compensation was provided, and the participants were guaranteed full confidentiality. All questionnaires were anonymous. The questionnaires were completed by the participant in the class context.
Both were used in previous research projects on the topic of intimate violence in married or cohabiting adult couples [ 11 ] and dating partners [ 10 ]. The Scale of Beliefs about Marital Violence [ 38 ] comprises 25 items that assess the degree of approval of marital violence. The items correspond to beliefs that approve of support or minimize partner violence e.
Participants indicated their degree of agreement with each statement on a 5-point Likert scale giving a possible maximum score of Each item presented a correlation with the total score ranging from 0. Factor analysis revealed four main factors that explain The Marital Violence Inventory [ 38 ] asks questions about 21 different acts of violence physical and emotional towards partners during the past year. The response alternatives to each item are binary: For statistical analyses, participants were considered aggressors if they reported having used at least one act classified as physically e.
The same procedure was adopted to establish whether or not an individual was a victim. Internal consistency, assessed through the Kuder-Richardson20 coefficient, was found to be as follows: Violent practices according to gender and type of relationship. Violent practices by gender in dating and married partners.
Attitudes to Partner Violence: This score is roughly equivalent to a mean response of 2 disagree to each of the items of the scale. Given that all the items indicated approval of or at least toleration the use of partner violence, this response tendency towards the lower end of the Likert scale indicates a global disagreement with the cultural myths that support partner abuse.
A two-way between-subject ANOVA revealed significant main effects of gender and type of relationship on violence supporting beliefs. Males displayed a higher degree of violence support than females.
Likewise, married participants exhibited higher mean levels of violence support than dating relationship partners. In addition, a significant gender type of relationship interaction emerged.
Dyadic Dynamics in Young Couples Reporting Dating Violence: An Actor-Partner interdependence model
Dating men were the strongest supporters of violence. In addition, as men were stronger supporters of violence when being in dating relationships, women approved violence more in the context of marriage than in the context of dating relationships Figure 1.
For victimization, data of 3, There were two reasons excluding participants in these analyses. Firstly, participants 4. Regarding aggression, the most prevalent form of violence was emotional As for victimization, the results followed the same pattern, with the most prevalent form of violence being emotional Associations with Gender and Type of Relationship Gender. Significant associations were found between gender and self-reported aggression involving severe forms of physical abuse, and self-reported experiences of severe forms of physical abuse.
Whereas more males reported aggression involving severe physical abuse, more females were victims of this type of violence. No associations were found between gender and any other type of violent behavior Table 2.
- Violence in Intimate Relationships: A Comparison between Married and Dating Couples
In terms of aggression, dating partners reported engaging in mild and severe physical violence more often than married partners, and, respectively. Conversely, emotionally abusive behaviors were reported more frequently in married couples than in dating partners.
Gender versus Type of Relationship. In dating relationships, more men In addition, men reported a higher prevalence of victimization of physical violence Within the married group, men and women reported a similar rate of violent behavior.