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NCJ Number: 164857 Find in a Library
Title: Aggression Between Heterosexual Dating Partners: An Examination of a Causal Model of Courtship Aggression
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1996)  Pages:519-540
Author(s): D S Riggs; K D O'Leary
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The authors used structural equation analyses of data obtained from a survey of 345 college undergraduates (232 women, 113 men) to test a predictive model of dating aggression based on the background-situational model proposed by Riggs and O'Leary (1989).
Abstract: Riggs and O'Leary developed a model of courtship aggression that they termed the "background-situational" model, based primarily on social learning and conflict theory. They proposed that variables causally related to courtship aggression can be separated into background factors (e.g., interparental aggression, child abuse, prior aggression) that establish an individual's aggressive pattern of behavior, and situational factors (e.g., drinking, relationship problems), which increase conflict within a relationship and contribute to specific aggressive incidents. Regarding background factors, they suggest that violence in the family of origin contributes to a greater acceptance of aggression as a response to conflict, aggressive/impulsive personality characteristics, psychopathology, and reduced emotion regulation. These factors in turn lead to an increased use of aggression across situations and within romantic relationships particularly. Results of the testing offer initial support for the background-situational model. Among men and women, dating aggression was directly related to the individual's attitudes about dating aggression, history of aggressive behavior, and conflict within the relationship; however, the predicted association between family- of-origin violence and attitudes toward aggression and general aggressive behavior was found only among women. Among men, the predictors explained more than 60 percent of the variance in the latent variable of relationship aggression; among women, 32 percent of the variance was explained. Discussion focuses on the utility of the background-situational model for understanding etiological factors of dating aggression and identifying targets for interventions aimed at reducing the problem. 4 tables, 2 figures, and 34 references
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Aggression; Dating Violence; Models; Threat assessment
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