Intimate Partner Violence Experience and Expectations Among College Women in Dating Relationships: Implications for Behavioral Interventions

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Studies suggest that experience and expectations of intimate partner violence (IPV) among college women may be positively related. We investigated their association using modified versions of two standard measures: the Conflict Tactics Scale and the Multidimensional Emotional Abuse Scale. Five hundred and thirty-four college women completed each measure twice: once based on their partner's actual behaviors and once based on what they expected a male partner would do in a relationship. Results demonstrated that IPV experience and IPV expectations are significantly and positively related. Results also showed that respondents expected more IPV than they reportedly experienced, suggesting that college women may believe that IPV occurs more frequently in others' relationships than in their own. Findings suggest that behavioral interventions for IPV victims should address IPV expectations.

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