Adolescent dating violence and self-efficacy

Date

2018-11-21

Authors

Schwartz, Christine A.

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Abstract

This study examined relationships among adolescent dating violence, family violence, community violence, dating history, academic history, and various forms of self-efficacy among 306 high school and university students. Results showed that psychological, physical, and sexual dating violence were common occurrences among high school students with both males and females admitting perpetrating dating violence. Experiences with dating violence were less common among university students than high school students. The vast majority of university students had experiences with psychological aggression; however, experiences with physical and sexual dating violence were less common among this group of participants. Many of the variables examined were related to experiences with dating violence for at least some participant groups. All forms of violence measured were related to experiences with dating violence. Specifically, experiences with community violence (as a witness, perpetrator, and/or victim) were related to experiences with dating violence for high school students and young women in university. Similarly, experiencing corporal punishment or physical abuse from a parent was significantly related to experiences with dating violence for these same groups of young people. Finally, witnessing parental spousal abuse was also correlated with dating violence involvement for young women. The findings regarding the relationship being dating violence and other experiences with violence are discussed within a social learning theory framework. Dating history variables showed important connections with dating violence for all participant groups. Length of the longest steady dating relationship was positively correlated with dating violence experiences for university students and young women in high school. Moreover, length of the current steady dating relationship was also positively correlated with dating violence experiences for young women in high school and university. Being younger when steady dating began was also related to dating violence involvement for young women. Additionally, experiencing a first date at a younger age was associated with dating violence for young women in university. Some unexpected results were also found regarding dating history variables and dating violence. For young men in high school, low frequency of dating was related to dating violence involvement. Also contrary to expect results, high use of negotiation by participants and their dating partners was associated with dating violence involvement for university students. Academic history variables showed little relation to experiences with dating violence. For young men in high school, experiencing a grade repetition was related to involvement in dating violence. No other academic variables were found to be associated with dating violence experiences including school suspensions, expulsions, course failures, average grades, or academic aspirations or expectations. Self-efficacy variables were significantly related to experiences with dating violence for high school students. Young women in high school who were victims of any form of dating violence demonstrated lower levels of dating self-efficacy (i.e., less confidence in their ability to secure and maintain dating relationships and to protect themselves from dating violence) and those who were victims of sexual dating violence had lower levels of physical self-efficacy. Young men in high school who had perpetrated psychological aggression had lower academic self-efficacy. Implications for intervention and prevention programs are addressed.

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Keywords

Dating violence, Self-efficacy, Adolescent

Citation