The role of perceptions in dating violence among young adolescents

Moisés Próspero
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2006, 21 (4): 470-84
The high prevalence of dating violence and the severity of its aftermath warrant the collaboration between research and practice for the development of prevention and intervention programs. This study investigates young adolescents' perceptions of dating partner's behaviors in common dating situations and their behavioral reaction to these dating situations. Initially, focus groups provided responses used for the development of a dating violence questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of dating scenarios related to perceptions and expected behaviors of the characters in the scenarios. Second, another sample of adolescents responded to the scenarios. Descriptive statistics found that boys and girls reported fewer aggressive perceptions than aggressive behavioral responses to the dating scenarios. Nonparametric statistics revealed that adolescent boys were significantly more likely to expect aggressive responses than girls. These findings have implications for practitioners charged with preventing dating violence.

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