Correlates of Sex-Specific Young Adult College Student Dating Violence Typologies: A Latent Class Analysis Approach

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Abstract

Objective: To use latent class analysis (LCA) techniques to identify the sex-specific structure of college student dating violence typologies and to examine the shared and sex-specific background-situational correlates of college student dating violence typologies. Method: Sample consisted of 3,344 North American college students (2,323 females and 1,021 males) between 18 and 25 years in heterosexual dating relationships. Data were drawn from the International Dating Violence Study. Results: Five college student dating violence typologies defined by both perpetration and victimization behaviors were indicated for both sexes: no dating violence, physical assault-psychological aggression-sexual coercion, physical assault-psychological aggression, psychological aggression, and psychological aggression-sexual coercion. Findings indicated sex-specific variations in the college student dating violence profiles. Psychological aggression perpetration and victimization behaviors were characteristic of all dating violence typologies (except the no dating violence typology). Antisocial personality symptoms, violence approval, criminal history, and length of relationship were generally characteristic of males and females in different college student dating violence typologies. Gender hostility to men and women and stressful conditions were characteristic of females in different college student dating violence typologies. Childhood violent socialization and sexual abuse history were not characteristic of males and females in different college student dating violence typologies. Conclusions: Results point to the complexity of college student dating violence behavior presentations with shared and sex-specific background-situational correlates. Findings could inform the development of intervention programs designed to help young adult males and females in different dating violence typologies.

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