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Violence Vict. 1992 Spring;7(1):3-14.

Dating violence, social learning theory, and gender: a multivariate analysis.

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Kent State University.


The study of violence between dating partners is a logical extension of interest in marital violence. However, little of this research tests explanations of intimate violence using multivariate techniques, and only recently have such tests occurred within a theoretical framework. Drawing on a recent social learning model of courtship violence (Riggs & O'Leary, 1989), this paper empirically examines constructs hypothesized to be predictive of the use of dating violence and investigates possible gender differences in the underlying causal structure of such violence. Logit analysis indicates that parent-child violence, drug use, and knowledge of use of dating violence by others predict the use of courtship violence by females. Belief that violence between intimates is justifiable, drug use, and parental divorce are related to perpetration of dating aggression by males. Explanations for these results and the importance of a multivariate approach to the problem are discussed.

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