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Dating violence is a prevalent problem among emerging adults. As young people explore novel romantic relationships, conflicts inevitably arise that sometimes escalate to the point of violence (Salvatore, Collins, & Simpson, 2012). It is important to understand the prevalence of dating violence among emerging adults and the negative implications that may result. The current study explored the predictive relationship between sexual, psychological, and physical forms of dating violence in both perpetrators and victims on internalizing outcomes. Participants included 209 undergraduate students (78% female) at Virginia Commonwealth University enrolled in an Introduction to Psychology course, between the ages of 18 and 25 (M = 19.38). Participants were 50% Caucasian, 23% African American, 15% Asian American, 7.2% multiracial, and 4.8% other; 9% indicated Hispanic ethnicity. Preliminary results indicated that dating violence was a prevalent concern among this sample of emerging adults; 53% of participants experienced at least one instance of dating violence perpetration, and 45% had experienced victimization. In addition, multiple regression analyses indicated that dating violence perpetration significantly predicted internalizing outcomes, F(3, 205) = 5.10, p < .01, R2 = .26. The model for dating violence victimization also significantly predicted internalizing outcomes, F(3, 205) = 8.40, p < .001, R2 = .33. Finally, differential results emerged between the various forms of perpetration and victimization. From our analyses, the results strengthen the notion that we need to examine each form of dating violence separately to understand how different forms of dating violence contribute to problematic outcomes in emerging adults.
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Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
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