Dating intimate partner violence
Cercone-Keeney, Jennifer Jane
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The present study was grounded in feminist and behavior analytic theories and sought to examine aspects of gender symmetry and asymmetry in dating intimate partner violence (IPV). Self-report data were collected from 1002 undergraduate men and women at a large Southeastern university. Although physical assault was the primary form of dating IPV of interest, perpetration and victimization rates for psychological and sexual aggression were also generated. These data were notable for greater gender asymmetry than expected among the nonsexual forms of dating IPV and greater gender symmetry than expected for the sexual forms of dating IPV. Male and female perpetrators of physical assault differed in their endorsement of instrumental representations of aggression, but not expressive representations. Taxometric analyses suggested that affect regulation may be better understood as a dimensional construct, while callousness may be better understood as a categorical construct. Overall, the variables under consideration functioned better as predictors of perpetration status than perpetration frequency. Further, gender differences in the patterns of predictors were observed. Taken together, the results suggested that gender-sensitive analyses are crucial to our understanding of dating IPV and that the proximal and distal contexts of this phenomenon must be considered when ascribing meaning and ascertaining function and impact.