Motivations for Self-Defensive Aggression in Dating Relationships

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Previous research has suggested that the occurrence of dating violence is influenced by various motivations, including self-defense. While some data have suggested that females are more likely to use physical aggression in self-defense, assessment measures of selfdefense have been limited in several notable ways, hindering efforts at fully understanding the myriad of reasons contributing to self-defensive aggression. The current study sought to examine motivations for physical aggression among male and female college students using a contextual self-report measure of self-defensive aggression designed specifically for the current study. Results showed that numerous motivations for physical aggression were endorsed by both males and females and, contrary to expectations, females were not more likely to use aggression in self-defense. Implications of these fi ndings for future research and dating violence prevention programming are discussed.

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