Violence and commitment: A study of dating couples

Dating couples (college students) were given the Conflict Tactics Scale and measures of emotional commitment. Members of a couple were tested at the same time with no opportunity to compare responses during the session. For violence and verbal aggression, participants reported on acts inflicted and received. For commitment, they indicated their own level of commitment and rated the commitment of their partners. This permitted an examination of 3 sorts of similarity: between the partners, between self-rating and perception of partner, and between rating of the partner and the partner's self-report. One-third of couples had at least 1 member who reported violence, but prevalence dropped to less than 20% when both members' responses were taken into account. There was little agreement about who did what to whom. Violent couples reported greater commitment to the relationship but were also more likely to disagree with each other's level of emotional commitment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)
Author: 
Hanley,M.Joan
O'Neill,Patrick
Notes: 
LA- English AN- 1997-43788-005
Reprint Status: 
IN FILE
Start Page: 
685
End Page: 
703
Journal/Periodical Name: 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume: 
12
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 
The authors administered the Conflict Tactics Scale and measures of emotional commitment to dating couples who were college students. Members of a couple were independently tested, so that they could not influence each others' response choices. Participants reported both committing and receiving acts of violence and verbal aggression. They also assessed both their own level of commitment and their perception of the commitment level of their partners. Overall, it became possible to examine three possible similarities: between the partners, between self-rating and perception of partner, and between rating of the partner and the partner's self-report. At least one member reported violence in one-third of couples, but prevalence dropped below 20% when taking into account both members' responses. There was little agreement about who did what to whom. Violent couples reported greater commitment to the relationship and were also more likely to disagree with each other's level of emotional commitment.
Topic Areas: 
College, Male-Female Relations, Prevalence
Reference Type: 
JOUR
Reference ID: 
150
Publication Date: 
1997/10