Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Third Advisor

Dr. Edith Coleman


The subjects were a convenience sample of 151 never-married junior college students who completed the Violence Index Schedule (VIS).

Analysis of the VIS indicated that 30.5% of the subjects had been the victim of at least one incident of dating violence, and that the majority of those victims, 67%, reported receiving no injuries. Of those who were injured, bruises and welts were the most common form of injury. Significant differences were found in nonassaultive partner behaviors present in the relationships of the victims and nonvictims of dating violence, t = -10.55 (149), p < .001. Chi-square analyses of the Nonassaultive Index items revealed significant differences for 24 of the 25 nonassaultive characteristics. Partners of the victims displayed significantly more jealously, coercive anger, verbal abusiveness, and controlling behaviors than did the partners of nonvictims.

An analysis of the quantitative and qualitative differences between male and female victims revealed few differences. No significant differences were found in incidence rates, nonassaultive partner behaviors, assaultive behaviors, and overall intensity of violence experienced. Two differences were found; male victims reported receiving significantly more slaps, and female victims reported receiving more injuries.

The discussion focused on the conclusion that dating violence occupies the less aggressive end of a violence continuum experienced in intimate relationships. Furthermore, it was suggested that intervention programs aimed at prevention and treatment of dating violence could reduce the number of assailants who batter their partners, particularly if intervention occurs before violence receives significant amounts of reinforcement and becomes an established pattern of behavior.

Recommendations for further study included the need to investigate differences between male and female victims of dating violence at more severe levels of aggression and the need to identify nonassaultive predictors of violent incidents.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons