Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Fritz, Patti

Keywords

acceptance of abuse, cyberspace, dating aggression, emerging adults, health, relationship quality

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The present study applied Johnson’s (2006) typology to cyberspace. In addition, it examined how cyber intimate partner aggression (IPA), cyber control, and acceptance of cyber IPA related to emerging adults’ (i.e., ages 18-25) relationship satisfaction and commitment and mental and physical health. Participants (N = 209) completed measures of demographics, cyber IPA, in-person IPA, coercive control, relationship quality, health, acceptance of cyber IPA, and social desirability. Situational couple violence had similar prevalence rates in person and in cyberspace, violent resistance and mutual violent control were more prominent in cyberspace than in person, and intimate terrorism was more prevalent in person than in cyberspace. Men and women had equivalent rates of situational couple violence, violent resistance, and mutual violent control in person and in cyberspace, whereas women had higher rates of intimate terrorism than men in cyberspace. Cyber IPA predicted lower relationship satisfaction and relationship commitment and more mental health problems. In addition, higher frequencies of cyber IPA and higher frequencies of cyber control predicted higher commitment for women and less physical health problems for both men and women. There was no significant interaction between cyber IPA, cyber control, and acceptance of cyber IPA. Last, women’s and men’s in-person typology was congruent with their cyber typology. These findings have implications for future IPA research and prevention and intervention programs for victims and perpetrators of IPA.

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