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Mixed-gender friendships, romantic relationships, and sexual behaviors increase during adolescence as a normal part of development. However, some studies have revealed potential risks to these types of social relationships. Different authors have indicated that dating violence among adolescents is an issue for concern. To date, there has been little research on this topic cross-nationally. This study examined and compared the prevalence and characteristics of physical dating violence among young people aged between 15 and 18 years in England and Spain (N = 200 in Spain, N = 199 in England), and how being involved (or not) in this violence relates to romantic relationship quality. Results indicated that approximately 23% of young people reported victimization and 30% reported perpetrating physical dating violence. In both countries, most of those involved in physical dating violence reported involvement in reciprocal violence (displaying both aggression and victimization). Those young people involved in dating violence reported higher levels on scales assessing negative aspects of relationship quality compared with those not involved, but there were no significant differences in positive aspects of relationship quality. Furthermore, different patterns appeared relating to the severity of violence and country. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and practice. © The Author(s) 2015.
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Journal of Interpersonal Violence
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© The Author(s) 2015
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DOI: 10.1177/0886260514567963
Physical Dating
Violence in Spain and
the United Kingdom
and the Importance of
Relationship Quality
C. Viejo,1 C. P. Monks,2 V. Sánchez,3
and R. Ortega-Ruiz1,2
Mixed-gender friendships, romantic relationships, and sexual behaviors
increase during adolescence as a normal part of development. However,
some studies have revealed potential risks to these types of social
relationships. Different authors have indicated that dating violence among
adolescents is an issue for concern. To date, there has been little research
on this topic cross-nationally. This study examined and compared the
prevalence and characteristics of physical dating violence among young
people aged between 15 and 18 years in England and Spain (N = 200 in
Spain, N = 199 in England), and how being involved (or not) in this violence
relates to romantic relationship quality. Results indicated that approximately
23% of young people reported victimization and 30% reported perpetrating
physical dating violence. In both countries, most of those involved in physical
dating violence reported involvement in reciprocal violence (displaying both
aggression and victimization). Those young people involved in dating violence
reported higher levels on scales assessing negative aspects of relationship
quality compared with those not involved, but there were no significant
1University of Cordoba, Spain
2University of Greenwich, London, UK
3University of Seville, Spain
Corresponding Author:
Carmen Viejo, University of Cordoba, Avda. San Alberto Magno s/n, 14004 Cordoba, Spain.
567963JIVXXX10.1177/0886260514567963Journal of Interpersonal ViolenceViejo et al.
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2 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
differences in positive aspects of relationship quality. Furthermore, different
patterns appeared relating to the severity of violence and country. The
findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and practice.
dating violence, physical violence, and cultural contexts
Throughout the last decade, there has been increasing interest in the study of
dating behavior. International developmental studies have shown that mixed-
gender friendships, romantic relationships, and sexual behaviors increase
during adolescence (e.g., Carver, Joyner, & Udry, 2003). This is underlined
by the fact that three out of every four boys and girls have had at least one
dating partner by the time they reach late adolescence (Connolly, Furman, &
Konarski, 2000; Menesini & Nocentini, 2008; Sánchez, Ortega-Rivera,
Ortega, & Viejo, 2008; Viejo, Sánchez, & Ortega, 2013). These relationships
can provide personal and social benefits for those involved. Adolescent dat-
ing experiences are associated with higher indices of social acceptance, peer
competence among friends and classmates, affirmation of social status, the
development of intimacy (Furman, Low, & Ho, 2009) and sexual identity,
and first sexual encounters (Ortega-Rivera, Sánchez, & Ortega, 2010). They
also contribute to the enhancement of personal variables linked to well-being,
such as identity achievement and psychological adjustment (Bouchey, 2007;
Braithwaite, Delevi, & Fincham, 2010; Shaffer & Furman, 2009, among oth-
ers). On the contrary, other studies have revealed potentially negative aspects
to this type of social relationship, noting that romantic relationships are
sometimes related to limited autonomy, aggressive and/or delinquent behav-
iors, and so on (Joyner & Udry, 2000; Shaffer & Furman, 2009).
There has been a considerable amount of social and scientific attention
focused on the negative aspects of dating relationships, due in part to their
potentially adverse outcomes, as well as some studies that have viewed this
form of violence as a precursor for subsequent gender violence among adult
couples (Cáceres & Cáceres, 2006; O’Leary & Smith-Slep, 2003). Since
1957, when Kanin published the first article on this topic, a growing number
of studies on dating violence have been carried out, first in the United States
and Canada and later in Europe.
Even though most of the earlier studies on adolescent dating violence came
out of the tradition of research into domestic violence and gender violence, it
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Viejo et al. 3
has been found that adolescent dating violence has its own characteristics that
differ from those identified among adult couples. Dating violence within
young couples is not an isolated behavior, but a common one, showing preva-
lence rates that range from 9% to 65% (e.g., Lewis & Fremouw, 2001;
Menesini & Nocentini, 2008; Muñoz-Rivas, Graña, O’Leary, & González,
2007; Sánchez et al., 2008) depending on the behaviors measured, the instru-
ments used, and the terminology used (Archer, 2006; Cáceres & Cáceres,
2006). An international study conducted with university students from 16 dif-
ferent countries reported that there was a high level of involvement in each
country studied but that there were differences between the countries in the
patterns of aggressive behavior reported (Straus, 2004). A more recent interna-
tional review (Leen et al., 2013) underlined that adolescent dating violence is
a pressing international issue; even when individual studies report different
specific results, the overall findings indicate that this is reported by young
people in various countries and, at least for victimization, rates are comparable
across Europe and North America.
Research has considered a variety of behaviors under the Dating Violence
label: physical, verbal, relational, and sexual (Saltzman, Fanslow, McMahon,
& Shelley, 2002). Nonetheless, most studies have focused on physical dating
violence (Capaldi & Owen, 2001; Nocentini, Menesini, & Pastorelli, 2010;
Nocentini et al., 2011; Viejo, 2014), presumably because it is an easily
defined type of violence, can be measured by different questionnaires with
empirical validity, and has clearly demonstrable negative consequences for
emotional and physical health (Banyard & Cross, 2008; Fernández-Fuertes &
Fuertes, 2010; Orpinas, Hsieh, Song, Holland, & Nahapetyan, 2013).
Recent studies have indicated higher rates of involvement among those
who are “occasionally” involved in “moderate” violence: Victimization is
reported by about 23% of participants and aggression by about 30% (Katz,
Washington-Kuffel, & Coblentz, 2002; Menesini & Nocentini, 2008; Viejo,
2014). Archer (2006) noted that it may be misleading to talk about high levels
of violence when the instruments used in the research refer to behaviors that
are lower in intensity, such as slaps around the face. Some aggressive behav-
iors have been related to the developmental process of courtship or dating
and the social skills involved in that process. Ortega and Sánchez (2011) have
proposed that involvement in aggression could be a normal pattern of behav-
ior during the initial stages of the romantic relationship, a kind of dirty dating
as these authors have named it. This is supported by Pellegrini (2001) who
found that boys and girls in early adolescence use different behaviors (which
may be aggressive) toward the opposite sex. Boys tend to use more physical
forms of aggression than girls, whereas girls are more likely to use verbal
forms, such as insults or ironic jokes. Ortega and Sánchez noted that these
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4 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
aggressive behaviors may form part of the relational dynamic, which is being
established in these nascent couples. In this way, these aggressive behaviors
may be well-received by the opposite sex as an indication of interest on the
part of the perpetrator.
This idea is consistent with several studies that have underlined one of the
most common characteristics of dating violence: a reciprocal aggressive
dynamic established between partners in a relationship in which mutual vio-
lence, which may not be very severe and is relatively infrequent, occurs
(Capaldi, Shortt, & Kim, 2005; Echeburúa, Fernández-Montalvo, Corral, &
López-Goñi, 2009; Menesini & Nocentini, 2008; Menesini, Nocentini,
Ortega-Rivera, Sanchez, & Ortega, 2011; Swahn, Alemdar, & Whitaker,
2010; Viejo, 2014). Even when different patterns of aggression are reported
within the couple, the main consistent feature is the reciprocity of the acts and
lack of an imbalance in power (Menesini et al., 2011; Olson, 2002). However,
Archer (2000) noted that when we refer to more severe aggressive behaviors,
such as those that can result in injury, boys are generally more likely to be
aggressors, and girls are more likely to be victims.
Archer (2006) reported that the level of dating aggression and the direc-
tion of the aggression are related to various cultural factors including the
role of women in that society, the prominence of patriarchal ideas, and level
of female empowerment, among others. Archer suggested that among devel-
oped Western countries, cultural elements would affect not only the estab-
lished relational dynamics within the family but also the development of
violent patterns of behavior. Goodwin (2013) also noted the importance of
considering differences between “contact” cultures and “non-contact” cul-
tures proposed by Hall (1976). For example, Southern European students
were found to touch more, stand closer, face one another directly, or keep
eye contact longer than students from “non-contact” cultures such as
Northern Europe. These social relational patterns may also influence the
standardized contact pattern that is accepted within the relationship.
However, there are very few studies that have compared the experiences of
dating violence among young people in different countries, even when the
previous literature indicates that there are cultural differences not only when
defining dating relationships but also in interpreting behaviors within these
relationships (Leen et al., 2013; Nocentini et al., 2011; Straus, 2004). In this
regard, variables related to the couple context (in terms of its relational
dynamic and perceived quality) have been identified as being important due
to their influence on dirty dating dynamics (Ortega & Sánchez, 2011).
Capaldi et al. (2003, 2005) noted that the characteristics of the couple and
the dynamics of their relationship were determining factors in dating vio-
lence. Conflicts may contribute to the establishment of a negative
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Viejo et al. 5
relationship dynamic, which some authors have identified as a dynamic of
the escalation of conflict (Straus & Gelles, 1987). However, the findings in
this area are not conclusive. On one hand, some studies have found a strong
relationship between the negative quality of the relationship (such as high
rates of conflict, jealousy, or an imbalance of power) and an increased risk
of involvement in mild physical dating violence (Fernández-Fuertes &
Fuertes, 2010; Giordano, Soto, Manning, & Longmore, 2010; O’Leary &
Smith-Slep, 2003; Vezina & Hebert, 2007). On the other hand, other authors
such as Giordano et al. (2010) and Ortega, Sánchez, and Ortega-Rivera
(2008) reported that some positive aspects of the relationship, such as love
or feeling cared for by their partner, are also reported by young people who
have experienced violence within their relationships. Thus, if people
involved in dating violence interpret these aggressive behaviors in terms of
demonstrating attention directed toward them and as possible signals of
someone’s interest in them, then it is less likely that this aggression will have
a negative influence on their perception of the quality of their relationship
(Giordano et al., 2010), being an expression of dirty dating (Ortega, Sánchez,
& Ortega-Rivera, 2008).
The current study aimed to advance this line of research by analyzing dat-
ing violence in two developed European countries: Spain and the United
Kingdom. Previous studies have examined different forms of violence in both
countries (Genta et al., 2011; Lehdonvirta & Räsänen, 2011; Monks, Palermiti,
Ortega, & Costabile, 2011). These studies have indicated that there are cul-
tural differences which may affect aggressive behaviors. The predominant
culture within the United Kingdom is identified as relatively liberal, with a
commitment to full employment and the equal inclusion of men and women.
Furthermore, since the 1990s, the prevention of teen violence has been on the
political agenda in the United Kingdom. Spain, however, while sharing some
basic features with British culture, is identified as a Latin country, where the
interpersonal contact network, that is, who you know, is important. Within
Spain, a male “breadwinner” culture persists and policies for the prevention
and intervention in youth violence were only implemented a few years ago
when, for various social reasons, the problem increased exponentially
(Goodwin, 2013; Junger et al., 2007; Lehdonvirta & Räsänen, 2011). The
International Human Development Indicators (United Nations Development
Programme, 2014) identified the United Kingdom and Spain as being coun-
tries with very high human development, ranked 14 and 27 (out of 187),
respectively. However, focusing on the role of males and females in the two
societies (Gender Inequality Index), Spain was found to have a lower level of
gender inequality than the United Kingdom (ranked 16 and 35 out of 187,
respectively). Although both countries are among those that are higher in
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6 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
terms of equality, it is possible that differences in gender equality may relate
to differences between the two countries in dating violence.
Dating violence is still a developing line of research in Spain (Medina-
Ariza & Barberet, 2003; Muñoz-Rivas et al., 2007; Ortega, Ortega-Rivera, &
Sánchez, 2008; Sanchez et al., 2008) and the United Kingdom (Archer &
Ray, 1989; Barter, McCarry, Berridge, & Evans, 2009; Burman & Cartmel,
2005; Hird, 2000; Schütt, 2006). Spanish data have shown very similar
results to international data: Around 30% of adolescents, both boys and girls,
are involved or have been involved in this type of violence, although moder-
ate forms of violence are more frequent than severe forms (Echeburúa et al.,
2009; Muñoz-Rivas et al., 2007, among others). None of these studies have
shown significant sex differences in involvement. Research has also indi-
cated that adolescents are also more likely to be involved in reciprocal rather
than unidirectional violence within their relationship (Menesini et al., 2011),
meaning that both partners behave aggressively toward each other. This
reciprocal dynamic is the main dynamic for moderate violence, whereas uni-
directional violence is more common for severe violence (Viejo, 2014).
Regarding the quality of these relationships, Sánchez et al. (2008) found that
adolescent Spanish couples reported medium to high levels of quality within
their relationships, with females being more satisfied than males.
Research in the United Kingdom has been scarce, leading some recent
studies to extrapolate U.S. data to the United Kingdom due to the dearth of
literature directly related to U.K. samples (Barter et al., 2009; Layard &
Dunn, 2011). Even when European studies on dating violence have been con-
sidered together, the U.K. data have been treated separately (Leen et al.,
2013). Focused on a U.K. sample, a preliminary study by Archer and Ray
(1989) reported a high incidence of some forms of violence within adolescent
couples (college students), with girls being more aggressive than boys. Since
then, only a few studies have focused on dating violence in the United
Kingdom. A study carried out by Hird (2000) indicated that similar levels of
males and females were involved in physical violence (about 15% of males
and 14% of females had experienced physical violence during the previous
year), which is accordance with Barter et al.’s (2009) results but higher than
those reported by Burman and Cartmel (2005). However, none of these stud-
ies provides information relating to the roles of involvement in the aggression
(aggressor, victim, or both). Furthermore, none of them have examined any
variables related to the couple or quality of their relationship. Although not
specifically focused on dating relationships, a UNICEF (2006) report found
that there were differences between young people in different countries in
their perceptions of peer relationships; in particular, young people in the
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Viejo et al. 7
United Kingdom had more negative peer perceptions than young people in
some other countries, including Spain.
Thus, the current literature on dating violence indicates that it is an impor-
tant field for further studies that can focus on providing more details on its
forms and the similarities or differences among countries and different cul-
tures. The present study represents a cross-national study of Spain and the
United Kingdom, aimed on: (1) measuring the prevalence and forms (magni-
tude and direction of aggression) of physical dating violence in both coun-
tries; and (2) performing an exploratory analysis of the characteristics of the
couple (in terms of relationship quality) in relation to involvement in dating
violence and taking into consideration the severity and direction of the
aggressive behavior.
This study was developed within a larger project on dating and dating vio-
lence. In all, 399 adolescents from Spain (N = 200) and England (N = 199)
participated in the current study. They were aged between 15 and 18 years
(M = 16.77; SD = 1.15). The English sample was from two urban secondary
schools in South East England serving lower- to middle-class catchment
areas. One was mixed sex and the other was a boys’ school; the English sam-
ple contained a predominance of male adolescents (71.1% males vs. 28.9%
female). Both were state schools. The Spanish sample was representative of
schools in South Spain, from the eight cities within the Andalusian region, so
state and fee-paying schools were included, serving very different class
catchment areas. All selected schools in Spain were mixed and the sample
included equal numbers of boys and girls.
Table 1 shows the general sample characteristics as well as the character-
istics for each country.
We used a key question about their present or previous romantic experi-
ences to identify the dating status of adolescents: 19% of adolescents had not
had any romantic experience (15.9% of the Spanish sample and 22.4% of the
English sample), 50.3% had had a past romantic relationship in the last 6
months (Spanish: 48.7%; English: 51.9%), and 30.7% had a current romantic
relationship (Spanish: 35.4%; English: 25.7%).
Analyses were focused on those who had had any romantic experience
(past or present), leaving a final sample of 306 adolescents (164 Spanish and
142 English).
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8 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
The present and past romantic status of the participants was assessed using a
question taken from the Dating Questionnaire (Connolly et al., 2000).
Participants were asked to select the sentence that best described their current
dating status from four options: I have never had boy/girlfriend; I have a boy/
girlfriend right now; I have more than one boy/girlfriend right now; and I do
not have a boy/girlfriend right now, but have had one within the last 6 months.
The couple context variables were assessed by the Network Relationships
Inventory (Furman & Buhrmester, 1985) and an adaptation of Peer
Orientation–Couple Questionnaire (Fuligni & Eccles, 1993). The Network
Relationships Inventory measured four scales, three related to positive qual-
ity (communication: three items, α = .87, for example, I tell my boyfriend/
girlfriend everything; commitment: three items, α = .76, for example, I spend
my free time with my boyfriend/girlfriend; and expectations for the future:
three items, α = .88, for example, Even when we disagree I’m sure this rela-
tionship will last) and one scale related to negative quality (conflicts: six
items, α = .91, for example, My boyfriend/girlfriend and I get annoyed with
each other’s behavior). The Peer Orientation–Couple Questionnaire assessed
transgressive behavior (four items, α = .69, for example, How much does the
amount of time you spend with your boyfriend/girlfriend keep you from doing
the things you should do, like homework or chores?). Two more items were
included in the Peer Orientation Scale to assess an imbalance of power: When
you are with your boyfriend/girlfriend, how often does someone tend to be the
boss in this relationship? When you are with your boyfriend/girlfriend, how
often does he or she try to control the clothes you wear or the friends you
have? (α = .82; r = .70).
To measure physical dating violence, an adaptation of the Conflict Tactics
Scale (CTS; Straus, 1979, Straus et al., 1996) was used. The original scale
was adapted to an adolescent population (Menesini & Nocentini, 2008; Viejo,
Sánchez, & Ortega-Ruiz, 2014): Nine items assessed mild (α = .67, for
Table 1. Sample Characteristics.
Spain UK Total
N200 199 399
Girls (%) 46.0 28.9 38.1
Boys (%) 54.0 71.1 61.9
M age 16.72 (SD = 1.31) 16.80 (SD = 0.95) 16.77 (SD = 1.15)
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Viejo et al. 9
example, pushing, grabbing, or shoving) and severe aggression (α = .82, for
example, choked partner), and nine items assessed mild (α = .70, for exam-
ple, slapped by the partner) and severe victimization (α = .79, for example,
slammed by the partner against a wall).
All the questionnaires were translated into Spanish and back-translated to
English by a native speaker. All measures were used previously in Spanish
studies and were validated with confirmatory factor analysis on Spanish ado-
lescents (Viejo, 2012).
Questionnaires were completed during school time. Consent for participation
in the study was obtained from the head-teacher and the parents/guardians of
the adolescents. Participation was completely voluntary: The participants
were told that they did not have to take part in the study if they did not wish
to and that confidentiality and anonymity would be assured. The research was
approved by the research ethics committees of the co-authors’ universities.
Participants took around 40 min to complete the questionnaire for the
whole larger project.
The results obtained in this study are presented in this section. In relation to
the aims of this study, initial analyses were performed to examine the preva-
lence and forms of physical dating violence (severity and direction of aggres-
sion) in both countries. Gender differences were also considered. Second,
variables relating to the context of the couple, in terms of the quality of the
romantic relationship, were analyzed in relation to involvement, or not, in
physical dating violence.
Physical Dating Violence in Spain and the United Kingdom
In keeping with previous studies (Menesini & Nocentini, 2008; Viejo, 2014),
the original Likert-type scale was recoded into a 3-point scale: not involved
in violence (0 = never in the original scale), occasional involvement (1 =
rarely), and frequent involvement (2 = sometimes, 3 = lots of times, and 4 =
always). Table 2 shows the results obtained for adolescent involvement in
moderate and severe physical dating violence, by country, sex, and frequency
of behavior.
For the Spanish sample (N = 164), the results indicated that involvement
in physical violence in Spain ranged from 12.2% for mild aggression, to
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10 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
24.5% for severe aggression. Most involvement was occasional, and frequent
involvement was not higher than 2.5%, which was obtained for the most
severe forms of aggression and victimization. The only significant sex differ-
ence was for mild victimization, although the effect size was low, t(146.310) =
2.049, p = .042, r = .17, with boys reporting higher levels than girls (.313 vs.
For the United Kingdom (N = 142), the results indicated that involvement
in physical violence ranged from 21% for serious victimization to 30.1% for
mild aggression. It was also the case that most were involved “occasionally,”
with the highest level of frequent involvement being for severe victimization
(9.7%). There were no significant sex differences.
Despite the finding that the results were slightly higher in the United
Kingdom than in Spain, t tests indicated that the only significant difference
between countries was for mild aggression, t(218) = −2.475, p = .014, r = .16,
with more adolescents from the U.K. sample being involved than those in the
Spanish sample.
Table 2. Physical Dating Violence Involvement.
Spain UK
Mild aggression
Total 81.8 17.6 0.6 68.9 26.2 4.9
Boys 81.7 18.3 0 68.4 23.7 7.9
Girls 81.8 16.9 1.3 68.8 31.3 0
Mild victimization
Total 77.8 20.4 1.9 71 22.6 6.5
Boys 72.3 24.1 3.6 71.8 20.5 7.7
Girls 83.5 16.5 0 75 25 0
Severe aggression
Total 75.5 22 2.5 72.1 23 4.9
Boys 69.5 28 2.4 68.4 23.7 7.9
Girls 81.8 15.6 2.6 75 25 0
Severe victimization
Total 79 18.5 2.5 79 11.3 9.7
Boys 83.1 13.3 3.6 82.1 5.1 12.8
Girls 74.7 24.1 1.3 75 25 0
Note. Spain: N = 164 (boys, n = 85; girls, n = 79); United Kingdom: N = 142 (boys, n = 86;
girls, n = 38; missing, n = 18).
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Viejo et al. 11
Finally, the form of involvement of adolescents in both countries was
examined. In accordance with previous studies (Moffitt & Caspi, 1998), we
considered aggression, victimization, and reciprocal violence separately.
Figure 1 shows the percentage of adolescents in each role for each country.
Exclusive aggression or victimization involvement was less frequent than
reciprocal involvement, and there were no significant sex differences by role.
Chi-square tests were used to examine the role of involvement (not
involved, aggression only, victimization only, and reciprocally involved) for
moderate and severe violence across the two countries. There were no signifi-
cant differences between the Spanish and U.K. samples for involvement in
moderate violence, χ2(3, N = 219) = 3.789, p = .285, Cramer’s V = .132, or
severe violence, χ2(3, N = 219) = 2.063, p = .559, Cramer’s V = .097.
Couple Context Variables: Quality of the Romantic Relationship
and Physical Dating Violence in Spain and the United Kingdom
The second aim of this study examined the couple context variables in terms
of the quality of the romantic relationships in relation to involvement in phys-
ical dating violence. According to previous results, we considered indepen-
dently those reciprocally involved in violence and those involved in only
aggression or victimization (but not both). The results were assessed sepa-
rately for the Spanish (N = 164) and U.K. (N = 142) samples (Tables 3 and 4).
Moderate PVDSevere PDVModerate PVDSevere PDV
15.10% 13.80%
6.70% 8.30%
7.50% 6.70% 3.30%
Not involved
Reciprocal involvement
Figure 1. Roles for PDV involvement.
Note. PDV = physical dating violence.
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Table 3. Spain: PDV Involvement and Quality (N = 164).
Mild PDV Severe PDV
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
Transgressive behavior 1.49 (0.66) 1.96 (0.54) 1.53 (0.43) 1.48 (0.65) 1.68 (0.64) 1.68 (0.46) 1.54 (0.62)
Imbalance of power 1.47 (0.60) 2.07 (0.78) 1.98 (0.96) 1.49 (0.64) 1.77 (0.79) 1.95 (0.88) 1.59 (0.72)
Conflicts 2.12 (0.81) 2.73 (0.88) 2.63 (0.99) 2.06 (0.83) 2.57 (0.87) 2.94 (0.74) 2.25 (0.89)
Communication 3.73 (1.12) 3.34 (1.14) 3.55 (1.11) 3.60 (1.16) 3.93 (0.95) 3.48 (1.15) 3.63 (1.16)
Closeness 3.93 (0.96) 3.88 (0.80) 3.94 (0.94) 3.89 (0.97) 4.15 (0.74) 3.82 (1.01) 3.89 (0.99)
Expectation for the future 3.37 (1.32) 2.93 (1.12) 3.08 (1.16) 3.21 (1.30) 3.51 (1.27) 3.19 (1.10) 3.22 (1.30)
Note. Considering mild violence and severe violence separately, those groups showing significant differences have been shaded in the table. PDV =
physical dating violence.
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Table 4. The United Kingdom: PDV Involvement and Quality (N = 142).
Mild PDV Severe PDV
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
M (SD)
Transgressive behavior 1.84 (0.64) 1.91 (0.93) 2.35 (0.99) 1.85 (0.75) 2.07 (0.64) 2.35 (0.92) 2.01 (0.85)
Imbalance of power 2.04 (1.07) 2.13 (1.03) 2.96 (1.14) 2.00 (0.99) 2.71 (1.62) 3.00 (0.97) 2.30 (1.15)
Conflicts 2.39 (0.82) 2.63 (1.12) 3.23 (0.57) 2.37 (0.78) 3.02 (1.14) 3.22 (0.69) 2.61 (0.89)
Communication 3.67 (0.95) 3.50 (1.27) 3.58 (0.82) 3.68 (0.90) 3.57 (1.44) 3.47 (0.85) 3.40 (1.08)
Closeness 4.07 (0.88) 4.00 (0.96) 3.63 (0.83) 4.08 (0.81) 3.90 (1.15) 3.59 (0.92) 3.75 (0.90)
Expectation for the future 3.41 (1.13) 3.29 (0.82) 2.60 (1.18) 3.35 (1.06) 3.14 (1.29) 2.77 (1.30) 2.79 (1.13)
Note. Considering mild violence and severe violence separately, it has been colored those groups showing significant differences. PDV = physical
dating violence.
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14 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
An overall comparison of the two countries showed that the participants in
the U.K. sample reported having poorer quality dating relationships than the
Spanish participants, shown by higher scores on the negative scales and
lower scores on the positive scales. Unrelated samples t tests indicated that
significant differences were mainly on the negative scales: with medium–
high effect size on transgressive behaviors: t(155.754) = −4.577, p = .000,
r = .35; imbalance of power: t(135.285) = −5.222, p = .000, r = .41; and lower
effect size on conflict: t(248) = −3.136, p = .002, r = .20; accompanied by
statistically lower scores in expectations for the future, t(244.546) = 2.823,
p = .005, r = .18.
To examine this further, the results obtained in each country for couple
quality were analyzed in relation to involvement in violence. According to
previous studies, no involvement, unilateral involvement, and reciprocal
involvement were considered.
In relation to moderate physical dating violence, in Spain, the ANOVAs
showed significant differences for the negative quality scales: transgressive
behaviors, F(2, 137) = 3.645, p = .029, η2 = .05; imbalance of power, F(2,
137) = 8.622, p = .000, η2 = .11; and conflicts, F(2, 130) = 5.770, p = .004,
η2 = .08. In all cases, the differences were between those unilaterally involved
in aggression or victimization and those not involved. In the United Kingdom,
the differences only appeared in imbalance of power, F(2, 56) = 3.570, p =
.035, η2 = .11, and conflicts, F(2, 55) = 5.076, p = .009, η2 = .16, and the dif-
ferences were between reciprocal involvement and those not involved, with
those reciprocally involved scoring higher on these variables.
Regarding severe physical dating violence, using a series of ANOVAs, the
same patterns were found for Spain and the United Kingdom. Only imbal-
ance of power—F(2, 137) = 4.225, p = .017, η2 = .06 in Spain; F(2, 56) =
4.241, p = .019, η2 = .13 in the United Kingdom—and conflicts—F(2, 130) =
10.386, p = .000, η2 = .14 in Spain; F(2, 55) = 5.870, p = .005, η2 = .18 in the
United Kingdom—showed statistical differences, having higher rates for
those reciprocally involved in physical dating violence than those not
This cross-national study aimed to examine in some depth the phenomenon
of physical dating violence in Spain and the United Kingdom considering not
only the main characteristics of this form of violence but also comparing it
across two European countries. A cross-national comparison of dating vio-
lence is valuable as research has indicated that there may be differences
between countries that might shape the characteristics of the romantic
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Viejo et al. 15
relationships related to aggressive behaviors, even when the phenomenon of
dating violence has shown very similar rates around Europe (Leen et al.,
2013; Straus, 2004). The current study has added to the research in this field.
Regarding the measurement of the prevalence and forms of physical dat-
ing violence in both countries, our study reported similar data for Spain and
the United Kingdom. Looking broadly, the findings indicate an infrequent
and reciprocal involvement as the most common pattern for both boys and
girls, both in Spain and the United Kingdom. However, more detailed analy-
ses show that there are some interesting differences between the two
About 25% of the adolescents surveyed in Spain and the United Kingdom
reported involvement in physical dating violence (either moderate or severe
forms). These rates are very similar to those reported in previous interna-
tional studies (Katz et al., 2002; Menesini & Nocentini, 2008) but higher than
those found in earlier studies in the United Kingdom (Barter et al., 2009;
Hird, 2000). However, they are closer to levels reported in previous Spanish
studies (Muñoz-Rivas et al., 2007; Sánchez et al., 2008), even considering
that occasional violence is reported by more participants than frequent vio-
lence (Foshee & McNaughton Reyes, 2011; O’Leary & Woodin, 2009).
There appeared to be some differences by country in relation to the sever-
ity of the behavior. The results in the current study indicated slightly different
patterns for Spain and the United Kingdom. The pattern of results found in
the U.K. sample is similar to that reported in other studies, with more involve-
ment in milder forms of violence than in the most severe forms (aggression:
31.1% vs. 27.9%; victimization: 29% vs. 21%). However, in Spain, this pat-
tern is slightly different. For victimization, involvement is slightly higher for
milder forms compared with severe forms (22.2% vs. 21%). However, the
trend is reversed in relation to involvement in aggression, with involvement
in severe forms higher than involvement in milder forms (18.2% vs. 24.5%).
According to Archer (2006), this could relate to cultural influences on the
interpretation of dating violence. Severe forms are more common in Spain
than in the United Kingdom may be because, in Spain, those mild expres-
sions of violence are more accepted and the adolescents go ahead. Goodwin
(2013) noted that some studies based on cross-cultural differences related to
relationships have established a difference between “contact” cultures and
“non-contact” cultures (Hall, 1976). In contrast to Spain, which is considered
to be a “contact” culture, the predominant culture in the United Kingdom is
“non-contact”; thus, probably many of the mild aggressive contact behaviors
are more censured in the United Kingdom than in Spain.
Nevertheless, perhaps it could also relate to a methodological issue. As
indicated by Viejo et al. (2014), this may be because the original version of
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16 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
the CTS (Straus et al., 1996) considered all of these behaviors within a single
factor of violence, including more mild and serious types of violence (beat-
ing, trying to choke, etc.). Thus, the questionnaire itself could difficulty this
double identification for the adolescents. However, Viejo et al. noted that
girls were more sensitive to the differentiation in terms of the severity of the
type of behavior than boys, which replicates data in the current study.
Finally, in relation to the directionality of the violence, as the previous
literature has shown (Menesini et al., 2011; Swahn et al., 2010), most of those
who were involved in physical dating violence did not take just one role
within the violence, most were reciprocally involved (in both aggression and
victimization). In this sense, and in contrast to what Archer (2006) found and
what might be suggested by considering the Gender Inequality Index (United
Nations Development Programme, 2014)), young people in Spain and the
United Kingdom report similar patterns of behavior and experiences in rela-
tion to dating violence.
Considering these characteristics of the phenomenon, it could be pre-
sumed that most of these young people were involved in dirty dating as
described by Ortega and Sánchez (2011). Such a dynamic could be a crude
way of establishing a dating relationship and would not be perceived by ado-
lescents as being “real violence.” If this is the case, then aggressive behavior
may be used occasionally and in its more moderate forms. However, cur-
rently it is not possible to conclude: this is a tentative hypothesis as in this
study it has not been assessed in relation to the significance of the violence
for those involved; this requires further, more in-depth, analysis.
The second aim of the study was regarding the relationship between cou-
ple context variables (relationship quality) and involvement (or not) in physi-
cal dating violence. According to previous studies (Fernández-Fuertes &
Fuertes, 2010; O’Leary & Smith-Slep, 2003; Vezina & Hebert, 2007), the
couple context variables are the key risk factors for dating violence, and rela-
tionship quality has been identified as one of the most influential. The find-
ings from the current study indicate that the quality of Spanish adolescents’
relationships is similar to that reported in previous studies (Sánchez et al.,
2008), and that the quality of dating relationships reported by young people
in the United Kingdom differs mainly in terms of the negative scales.
Relatedly, it has been also reported that British adolescents have relatively
negative perceptions of their peer relationships in comparison with young
people in other countries (including Spain; UNICEF, 2006). This negative
perception of peer relationships could be extended to dating relationships as
well, which may account for the higher endorsement of negative scales in the
current study, mainly relating to power imbalance and conflicts. Previous
studies have identified poor relationship quality as a risk factor for physical
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Viejo et al. 17
dating violence involvement (Fernández-Fuertes & Fuertes, 2010; O’Leary
& Smith-Slep, 2003; Vezina & Hebert, 2007). In the current study, the only
differences between those involved and not involved in physical dating vio-
lence were found in relation to the negative relationship quality scales, not
the positive relationship quality scales. Previous studies have pointed out that
the maintenance of positive dynamics within violent relationships reveals a
complex undercurrent of conflict resolution, elements of intimacy, and satis-
faction that makes it more difficult to withdraw from the relationship
(Giordano et al., 2010).
Nevertheless, when examining the data in relation to the severity of the
behavior, the pattern is different for moderate and severe violence as well as
for Spain and the United Kingdom. Regarding the most severe forms of vio-
lence, those Spanish and English adolescents who were reciprocally involved
in physical dating violence reported higher rates of conflict and power imbal-
ance in their relationship. This is in agreement with previous studies focused
on other forms of violence, which include unilateral and reciprocal involve-
ment. For example, research on bullying has found that those who are identi-
fied as bully-victims (who bully others and are bullied by others) often have
more adjustment problems than those who are bullies or victims (Arseneault
et al., 2006). The sample size did not enable us to examine the role of the
adolescent and their perceptions in depth; future studies could examine
whether the differences are related only to involvement (unilateral, recipro-
cal, or not involved) or also to whether an individual is the aggressor or
Moderate forms of violence present a more complex pattern. Spanish ado-
lescents who were not involved or reciprocally involved were not found to
differ on relationship quality; however, those who were unilaterally involved
reported poorer quality relationships. According to previous studies that sug-
gest that reciprocal involvement in moderate violence may be related to dirty
dating (Menesini et al., 2011; Sánchez et al., 2008; Viejo, 2014), it is possible
that those adolescents involved in this kind of violence may not perceive their
relationships as problematic. As Pellegrini (2001) pointed out, they use these
moderately violent behaviors as signals indicating interest in others or from
others. However, as this has not been directly assessed in the current study,
this is still a hypothesis.
Among the U.K. adolescents, the findings for moderate violence followed
the same pattern for severe violence: Those reciprocally involved in violence
reported the worst rates of quality in their relationships. These data differ from
the Spanish data, and although it is not possible to draw firm conclusions, they
may reflect cultural differences. It is possible that for English adolescents,
dirty dating may not occur, or at least not for physical forms of violence.
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18 Journal of Interpersonal Violence
According to Goodwin (2013), and related to the “contact” cultures versus
the “non-contact” cultures, it could be possible that adolescents in the United
Kingdom use more verbal and relational aggression as a form of dirty dating
but not physical aggression, as physical forms are considered more intrusive
and thus with more negative consequences. In this line, studies of adoles-
cents’ attitudes toward violence have reported that young people who present
less tolerance to violence are less involved in dating aggression and victim-
ization than those with higher tolerance (Muñoz-Rivas, Gámez-Guadix,
Fernández-González, & González-Lozano, 2011). Furthermore, the context
where aggression occurs is very salient for adolescents (Sears, Byers, Whelan,
& Saint-Pierre, 2006). To date, we are not aware of studies developed in the
United Kingdom regarding attitudes toward dating violence or the role of the
specific context in the justification of dating violence by individuals. Future
studies considering attitudes and also other forms of violence, including other
forms of physical violence, are needed to examine this directly.
Although the sample size and the non-balanced gender distribution have
limited the analyses performed, this work represents a step forward in our
understanding of the phenomenon of dating violence in the United Kingdom
where this is still relatively under-researched. At the same time, this repre-
sents an innovation in terms of making a cross-cultural comparison of Spain
and the United Kingdom, highlighting that contextual factors are key to
understanding this complex phenomenon.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research,
authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research,
authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by the project
“Violencia Escolar y Juvenil: los riesgos del cortejo violento, la agresión sexual y el
ciberacoso (PSI-2010-17246)” into the National I+D+i.
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cia en las parejas sentimentales de los jóvenes andaluces. (Unpublished thesis
manuscript). University of Cordoba, Spain.
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sible view of the phenomenon]. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 37, 785-815.
Viejo, C., Sánchez, V., & Ortega, R. (2013). The importance of adolescent dating
relationships. Psicothema, 25(1), 43-48.
Viejo, C., Sánchez, V., & Ortega-Ruiz, R. (2014). Violencia física en la pareja ado-
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Author Biographies
C. Viejo is a Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University
of Cordoba (Spain). Her primary areas of research are Dating Violence and
Adolescent’s Development.
C. P. Monks is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Psychology and
Counselling at the University of Greenwich, U.K.. Her primary areas of teaching are
research methods and developmental psychology. Her researching field is Bullying
and Interpersonal Violence during childhood and adolescence.
V. Sanchez is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Educational and
Developmental Psychology at the University of Seville, Spain. Her researching field
is Emotional and Relational Development and Adolescence.
R. Ortega-Ruiz is Professor in Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the
University of Cordoba, and visiting Professor in the Department of Psychology and
Counselling at the University of Greenwich. Her primary areas of teaching and research
are Bullying, School Violence and Adolescent Dating Relationships. Dr. Ortega is the
lider of the LAECOVI laboratory (
at UNIVERSIDAD DE SEVILLA on February 2, 2015jiv.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... Conversely, girls might be more likely to report horseplay as acts of physical DV, which could increase the rate of false positives. However, many studies with normative samples indicate a prevalence of bidirectionality (reciprocal violence) both in boys and girls (Giordano et al., 2010;Viejo et al., 2016). ...
... These authors pointed out that frequent violence could be related to adolescents' greater psychosocial adjustment difficulties, with more severe consequences. Occasional violence could be related to adolescents' limited prior dating experience and even to certain clumsy dating practices (Muñoz et al., 2013;Viejo et al., 2016), without detracting from the fact of the violence itself. In fact, the results show that DV is more prevalent at younger ages (Fritz & O'Leary, 2004;Pacheco et al., 2017;Smith et al., 2003), perhaps because of this limited experience in dating relationships and conflict resolution. ...
... When analysing gender differences, our study does not provide statistically significant associations between sex and general perpetration of DV. These results match those already indicated in other studies with the general population (Arias et al., 2010;Fernández-Fuertes & Fuertes, 2010;Giordano et al., 2010;Leal et al., 2011;Viejo et al., 2016). However, taking into account the types of violence, relational violence did show significant associations according to sex, in favour of boys. ...
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Prevalence of dating violence (DV) is increasing, so the detailed study of the related factors can help to intervene in it more specifically. This study had three goals: to analyse the frequency of DV; to explore the differences between the frequency of perpetration and victimization of DV and sexist attitudes, antisocial and criminal behaviours and personal adjustment and to identify predictor variables of the frequency of DV. The sample consisted of 271 adolescents in residential care (54.6% boys and 45.4% girls), aged between 12 and 17 years (M = 15.23, SD = 1.60). The results showed that 91.5% of the adolescents perpetrate violence and 88.6% are victimized in their dating relationships. Of them, 28% said they committed frequent violence and 27.3% suffered it frequently. Adolescents who frequently perpetrate or experience violence differ from those who do so occasionally in their personal adjustment, antisocial and criminal behaviours and sexist attitudes. The predictors of the violence perpetration were age, hostile paternalistic sexism and antisocial behaviours. The predictors of victimization were sex, age, hostile paternalistic sexism and self‐esteem. The results of this study could be useful for the prevention and intervention in DV in the area of residential care.
... Cyber dating violence has been clearly linked to other types of violence (Zweig et al., 2013), including 'offline' violence (Leisring & Giumetti, 2014;Viejo et al., 2016). These two types of violence (online and offline) are considered to be co-occurring experiences and each is viewed as a risk factor for the emergence of the other (Temple et al., 2016). ...
... Correlations between the Cib-VPA and the CADRI were also found in the original validation study (Cava & Buelga, 2018), and many others have reported a relationship between offline and online dating violence (Leisring & Giumetti, 2014;Viejo et al., 2016). Some authors explain this in terms of continuity between the real and the virtual worlds, with adolescents and young people reproducing the behaviours they engage in outside the social media in the virtual context (Cava & Buelga, 2018). ...
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The aim of this study was to obtain validity evidence of the Escala de Ciber-Violencia en Parejas Adolescentes (Cib-VPA) in the Spanish young adults. A total of 298 undergraduate students (222 women, 75 men and 2 people who identified themselves as ‘other’) completed the Cib-VPA and other related measures of offline and online dating violence. Internal consistency and construct, convergent and discriminant validity were evaluated. In line with the original validation study, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) provided evidence for an 18-item model comprising 2 subscales, with 2 factors per subscale. All had acceptable internal consistency values. Total and subscale scores correlated positively with online and offline dating violence measures, with these correlations being stronger in subscales evaluating violence in the same direction (perpetrated or victimisation). As expected, no differences were observed according to gender. This study shows validity evidences of Cib-VPA scores, which can be quickly and inexpensively administered to large samples of young adults.
... Additionally, one study, based on a mixed sample comprising six European countries (Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and United Kingdom) was included. Because three publications were multi-country studies (Barter et al., 2017;Stanley et al., 2018;Viejo et al., 2016), they were counted separately according to the number of countries/samples that they examined (i.e., Barter et al., 2017 andStanley et al., 2018: United Kingdom plus Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Norway;Viejo et al., 2016: Spain plus United Kingdom, resulting in n = 9). This yielded a total of n = 43 samples (see also Table 2). ...
... Additionally, one study, based on a mixed sample comprising six European countries (Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and United Kingdom) was included. Because three publications were multi-country studies (Barter et al., 2017;Stanley et al., 2018;Viejo et al., 2016), they were counted separately according to the number of countries/samples that they examined (i.e., Barter et al., 2017 andStanley et al., 2018: United Kingdom plus Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Norway;Viejo et al., 2016: Spain plus United Kingdom, resulting in n = 9). This yielded a total of n = 43 samples (see also Table 2). ...
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Violence in adolescent relationships is a common problem with numerous negative short- and long-term consequences. Because most of the evidence on teen dating violence (TDV) synthesized in reviews comes from North American studies, this review aimed to compile evidence on prevalence rates of TDV based on studies identified for Europe only. Specifically, we considered different forms of TDV victimization and perpetration, gender differences, and its measurement. A systematic literature search of the most popular databases Ebsco and PubMed yielded a total of N = 34 studies, with most of the studies identified for Spain, and only a few studies in other European countries. In sum, the results revealed a great variability in prevalence rates across and within the European countries, a common pattern of gender differences, and a wide range of applied measurements, corresponding with the evidence from the North American studies. Implications for future research and policy were discussed.
... What there is some consensus is on is the frequency with which the subtypes of violence appear. Research carried out in the Spanish context coincides in establishing a clear predominance of verbal-emotional violence, which is appreciated according to studies in around 40-90% of the young population (Fernández-Fuertes et al., 2011;Muñoz -Bandera & Benítez 2017;Fernández-Fuertes & Fuertes, 2010;Sebastián et al.,2014), followed by psychological violence, which ranges between 14-92% (Calvete, 2016;Yago-Simón & Tomás 2015;Muñoz-Rivas et al., 2010), in third place, sexual violence, which ranges from 2-60% and finally physical violence, with figures between 1.5-46% (Pichiule- Castañeda et al., 2014;Muñoz-Bandera & Benítez 2017;Muñiz-Rivas et al., 2019;Viejo et al., 2016;López-Cepero et al., 2015), and relational violence (Muñoz-Bandera & Benítez, 2017), of 1-18%. Another subtype of violence on the rise is cyber violence, which is increasing the numbers rapidly and worryingly. ...
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Teen dating violence (TDV) is one of the problems that, both for its severity as for its prevalence, requires a greater educational effort aimed at its primary prevention on all the young people that make up our societies. However, both social studies and preventive strategies and public policies maintain a monocultural and homogenizing relational approach, which makes invisible the relationships that exist between non-European and non-heterosexual people. This chapter proposes an approach to dating violence based on a critical and intercultural citizenship education, which addresses existing biases. This approach aims, on the one hand, to understand relational diversity in democratic societies and, in turn, orient its action around three axes: socio-emotional education, education in values, and virtual education.
... A few studies in Europe have reported findings on the extent of overlap between dating victimization and perpetration. Viejo et al (2016), for example, found that the majority of affected young people in Spain and the United Kingdom were reciprocally involved (i.e., as both perpetrators and victims). Similar results based on large samples were found in the French and German speaking parts of Switzerland, with a bivariate correlation between victimization and perpetration of r = .69 ...
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Dating violence is a serious manifestation of harmful behaviour during adolescence. During the past decades, considerable research has shed light on patterns, causes, and consequences of dating violence. One of the most notable findings emerging from widely used survey instruments is that female adolescents report perpetrating physical dating violence more or equally frequently as male adolescents. Similarly, male youth appear to equally frequently report that they have been victims of physical dating violence as female adolescents. This commentary reviews issues emerging from the debate on gender symmetry in dating violence and proposes directions for future research. It suggests that future research needs to consider three interrelated issues to advance the field, namely: to improve the understanding of differences in harm, advance the knowledge of gender differences in the short‐term dynamics involved in conflict and aggression, and strengthen the evidence base on shared and gender‐specific developmental aetiologies of dating violence.
... Some studies report gender differences depending on the severity of the violence, with girls reporting more injuries following either physical or sexual assault (Hamby & Turner, 2013;Muñoz-Rivas et al., 2007). However, other studies have not found these differences between boys and girls since the reciprocal pattern of partner violence also occurs in severe physical aggressions (Straus, 2011;Viejo et al., 2015). Therefore, another objective of the present study is to establish whether the prevalence of teen dating violence in boys and girls is similar, but also whether there are differences in the severity of injuries between the genders, as previously found in Spanish studies (Fernández-González et al., 2014) 1.4 ...
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The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence and severity of teen dating violence victimization in Spanish adolescents from both community and at-risk samples. The sample comprised 1,105 community adolescents from secondary schools, 149 adolescents from child, and adolescent mental health centers, 129 from residential care centers associated with the child welfare system, and 101 from centers in the juvenile justice system. The participants, aged between 14 and 17 years, were interviewed using the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire. The lifetime prevalence of victimization in dating relationships ranged from 2.5% to 33.7%. The prevalence of physical victimization was slightly higher in boys, while sexual and electronic victimization and injuries were more prevalent in girls. In conclusion, teen dating violence is a prevalent problem in Spain that needs to be addressed to prevent adolescents from developing risk behaviors and to avoid adverse consequences on mental health, especially in at-risk adolescents.
Citar como: Guisado Álvarez, D. M. y Caballero Cala, V. (2021). ¿Influyen los valores hacia la pareja sobre la violencia sufrida en el noviazgo adolescente? Diversitas, 17(1). Resumen La investigación sobre violencia en la pareja adolescente ha ido aumentando en los últimos años. Sin embargo, son escasos los estudios que profundizan sobre el papel de los valores culturales y preferencias asociadas a la pareja en la posibilidad de sufrir violencia. Esta * Esta investigación pertenece al proyecto "Violencia en parejas adolescentes. Investigación para una prevención e intervención transcultural en contextos socioeducativos" (RTI2018-101668-B-I00); está financiada por el Ministerio
Childhood maltreatment is a universal issue impacting developmental outcomes, including the likelihood of experiencing violence in later life. Although previous works have focused on the cycle of abuse, the cycle of revictimization and neglect is less well‐understood. In the current study, childhood exposure to maltreatment (physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect) are examined as potential risk factors for dating relationships in adulthood. A group of 1200 adults (mean age = 46.60 years; range: 20–84 years) were recruited from the registered residential population of the Ministry of Public Administration and Security. Logistic regression analyses were conducted and revealed that childhood physical abuse was associated with physical, emotional, and financial violence in dating relationships. In addition, childhood emotional abuse exposure was associated with physical and sexual dating violence. Although childhood exposure to neglect did not explain any types of adulthood dating violence, it appears that experiencing abuse during childhood is highly related to dating violence in adulthood. Our findings revealed the importance of understanding the different types of childhood maltreatment, especially in terms of how they relate to violence victimization in the context of dating in adulthood. Interventions should address the various types of childhood victimization by family members to help prevent dating violence in adulthood.
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Teen dating violence is a serious problem and intervention programs aimed at reducing this violence and helping adolescents to develop healthier romantic relationships are needed. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the DARSI program on the development of a more adequate perception of love, the reduction of tolerance toward abuse in romantic relationships, and the reduction of the perpetration of dating violence in adolescents. The sample consisted of 129 adolescents, aged 12 to 17 years (M = 14.05, SD = 1.08). A repeated measures (pre-test and post-test) quasi-experimental design with an intervention group and a control group was used to assess the effects of the program. The results showed significant decreases in unhealthy perceptions of love (linking love with control and dependence), tolerance toward abuse in romantic relationships, and dating violence perpetration in the intervention group. Healthier perceptions of love (linking love with respect and communication) were observed in the intervention group after the implementation of this program. These findings support the implementation in educational contexts of programs focused on the development of non-violent and healthy romantic relationships in adolescents.
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Background Dating Violence (DV) is a public health problem that is on the rise. In this paper, we aim to analyse different factors associated with DV victimization among female and male adolescents in Spain, considering socioeconomic circumstances, sexual orientation and the presence of different attitudes and experiences related to violence. Methods Cross-sectional data from a convenience sample of 640 ever-partnered adolescents aged 13 to 17 at schools in the cities of Alicante (n = 359, 50.1% girls) and Terrassa (n = 281, 51.9%) in the context of an educational intervention to promote healthy relationships. We calculated the prevalence of different forms of DV (physical, sexual and control and fear) and carried out multivariate regression models by sex. Results 5.5% of girls and 8.7% of boys declared having suffered lifetime physical and/or sexual violence, while 22% of girls and 20.5% of boys reported control and/or fear victimization. The likelihood of DV was higher among migrants and those with foreign-born parents (aPR girls = 2.1 CI95%: 1.1–3.9; aPR boys = 1.9: CI95%: 1.0–3.6); prior experiences of abuse (aPR girls = 1.6; CI95%: 1.0–2.6; aPR boys = 1.7; CI95%: 1.1–2.6); and those who showed higher levels of machismo (aPR girls = 1.0; CI95%: 1.0–1.1; aPR boys = 1.0; CI95%: 1.0–1.1). In girls, DV increased among those who reported lesbian/bisexual orientation and poor relationship with teachers. Conclusions DV is socially patterned and increases among LGB adolescents (especially in the case of girls), migrants, and those with foreign-born parents, and adolescents who reported prior experiences of violence in childhood. Future DV prevention programs should consider social inequalities in the likelihood of DV and by reinforcing adolescents’ abilities to recognize social support sources and reject machismo and violence.
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Ethnic background and cultural roots affect how individuals think, feel, and behave. These factors have only recently begun to be considered in family therapy training and practice. Differences among groups need to be valued and integrated into family therapy practice. The authors provide an overview of ethnic and cultural issues in clinical work with African American, Hispanic, Irish, Asian Indian, and Jewish clients.
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Within the complex social world that young people inhabit, in addition to traditional forms of bullying, we find other negative forms of relations which share some characteristics with bullying in terms of dominance and submission. This is true for ‘dating violence’, which we discuss in this chapter. We explore individual factors in relation to involvement in dating violence (both aggressors and victims) and the way that the peer network can ‘cover up’ the problem. We address the roles of affective-emotional links and the appearance of interpersonal violence within the network, as well as the inclusion of negative models of couples. We propose that the appearance of dominance-submission-control-violence within the first romantic relationships during adolescence may originate in the behaviours and attitudes of the peer-group. Early data on this topic (Ortega, 2008b) suggest that forms of indirect relational violence may appear within dating relationships and are aimed at controlling the behaviour, attitudes and feelings of the partner, and are difficult to detect and difficult to stop. Sexual violence, on the other hand, is worryingly more present during these first dating relationships than we thoughtp. The importance of the first romantic relationships in adolescence The biological changes that accompany adolescence play an important role in the changes which occur in the interpersonal relationships of adolescents. With sexual maturity, changes in the levels of hormones and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, adolescents begin to feel sexual attraction for others.
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This paper presents a study about peer and dating sexual harassment among adolescents. Specifically, differences by sex, age and the developmental stage of the romantic relationships were analyzed in both, peer and dating sexual harassment in a sample of 490 adolescents (55,7% boys and 44,3% girls, mean age 16.08). Descriptive data showed that the presence of peer and dating sexual harassment was similar. Boys were more perpetrators in both, peer and dating contexts but no differences by sex were found for victimization indexes. An important effect of the developmental-stage of the relationships was found: peer sexual harassment were more frequent in "casual" and "mixed gender" stage whereas dating sexual harassment was more frequent in "serious relationship". For age, just differences in dating sexual harassment were found: older adolescents were more involved than younger ones.
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El presente estudio supone una primera aproximación descriptiva al estudio de la calidad de las relaciones sentimentales adolescentes y a la presencia de comportamientos violentos en estas primeras relaciones. Se entrevistó a 446 adolescentes de Educación Secundaria Obligatoria y Bachillerato (47.50% chicos, 52.50% chicas, edad media 16.08 años) con relación a la satisfacción con sus relaciones de pareja, sus expectativas, grado de comunicación, presencia de conflictos, poder, comportamiento transgresivo y violencia. Los resultados descriptivos han mostrado que las relaciones de pareja durante la adolescencia son muy importantes para los chicos y chicas dado que el 90% de éstos afirmaron haber tenido alguna experiencia sentimental. Los adolescentes afirmaron estar muy satisfechos con sus relaciones sentimentales, siendo las chicas y los participantes de mayor edad los que más satisfacción y expectativas mostraron. Con relación a los problemas de violencia, los resultados han mostrado una implicación alta, aunque ocasional, de chicos y chicas con independencia de la edad y del comportamiento analizado: agresión y victimización.
This article presents rates of violence against dating partners by students at 31 universities in 16 countries (5 in Asia and the Middle East, 2 in Australia-New Zealand, 6 in Europe, 2 in Latin America, 16 in North America). Assault and injury rates are presented for males and females at each of the 31 universities. At the median university, 29% of the students physically assaulted a dating partner in the previous 12 months (range = 17% to 45%) and 7% had physically injured a partner (range = 2% to 20%). The results reveal both important differences and similarities between universities. Perhaps the most important similarity is the high rate of assault perpetrated by both male and female students in all the countries.
The associations of frequent physical aggression, injury, and fear were examined for a community-based sample of at-risk young couples who were dating, cohabiting, or married. It was hypothesized that frequent physical aggression toward a partner, in the range of shelter samples, is largely caused by antisocial behavior and mutual couple conflict and, thus, that there would be greater similarity across genders in such behavior than has previously been supposed. It was also predicted that levels of injury and fear would be higher in women but that some men would experience these impacts. Findings indicated similarity across genders both in the prevalence of frequent aggression and in its association with antisocial behavior. Furthermore, such aggression was likely to be bidirectional in couples. Contrary to the hypothesis of the study, rates of injury and fear for the women were not significantly higher than for the men.
This study examined the links between children's perceptions of the manner in which they and their parents adjust their relationships during early adolescence and early adolescents' orientation toward parents and peers. A sample of 1,771 children completed self-report questionnaires during the spring of their 6th and 7th grades. As predicted, early adolescents who believed their parents asserted and did not relax their power and restrictiveness were higher in an extreme form of peer orientation. Also as predicted, those who perceived few opportunities to be involved in decision making, as well as no increase in these opportunities, were higher in both extreme peer orientation and peer advice seeking. Discussion focuses on the importance for parent-child relationships to adjust to early adolescents' changing developmental needs, as well as the implications of early adolescent peer orientation for later development.