The Effects of Academic and Interpersonal Stress on Dating Violence Among College Students: A Test of Classical Strain Theory

Brandon Mason, Martha Smithey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Violence is a social problem in dating among college students with reported rates as high as 82%. This study examines strain (Merton 1938) as a causative factor in intimate partner violence among college students and maintains that the pursuit of cultural goals can result in criminal adaptations as an individual strives to achieve goal fulfillment. We theorize that college students experience general life strain and cumulative strain as they pursue the highly valued goal of a college degree and test the effects of these types of strain on the use of intimate partner violence. Additionally, we examine strain due to unrealistic expectations of intimate partnership and economic strain. The analysis examines the following causative factors representing strain: 1) A multi-dimensional composite measure of general strain using the College Undergraduate Stress Scale (Renner & Mackin, 1998); 2) cumulative academic strain measured by college classification; 3) cumulative intimate partner
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
StatePublished - Oct 14 2011

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