Directionality and violence expression in dating relationships of young people

Fernando Rubio-Garay, M. Angeles López-González, Luis Ángel Saúl, Ángeles Sánchez-Elvira-Paniagua


Although dating violence frequently begins during adolescence and has been postulated as a risk factor for severe forms of adult partner violence, the body of research on this issue remains limited. In this paper, the directionality and behavioral expression of committed and sustained aggression (psychological and physical) in dating relationships is investigated in a sample (N=69) of students aged 16 to 27 years. The results showed a very frequent pattern of reciprocal psychological aggression. However, as the behavioral expression of violence worsens (e.g., slappings, threats and beatings), reciprocity decreases and directionality increases. Sex did not predict the directionality of violence and did not exert a significant effect on the study variables, committed aggression (perpetration) and assault (victimization).In addition, psychological/verbal violence was the most used by aggressors and the most suffered by victims. The work has practical implications since it can help to make this problematic visible and to raise the awareness of public authorities towards the development of violence prevention measures and intervention with victims.


Dating violence, courtship abuse, psychological aggression, physical aggression



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