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Perceived Verbal Conflict Behaviors Associated With Physical Aggression and Sexual Coercion in Dating Relationships: A Gender-Sensitive Analysis

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We studied perceived partner verbal behaviors associated with participants' use of dating aggression. Men's reports of their partners' demanding, controlling, and psychologically abusive behaviors during conflicts were expected to predict men's perpetration against partners. In contrast, women's reports of their partners' withdrawal were expected to predict women's perpetration. Data were collected from heterosexual undergraduates (N = 223) in exclusive dating relationships. Participants' reports of partner demands and partner psychological abuse were associated with participants' use of physical aggression and sexual coercion. Reports of partner withdrawal and partner controlling behaviors were associated with participants' sexual coercion only. Significant moderating effects of gender emerged. As expected, partner demands, controlling behaviors, and psychological abuse were associated with physical aggression and sexual coercion in men, but not women. Partner withdrawal was associated with sexual coercion in both women and men. We conclude that gender-sensitive approaches are necessary to understand and prevent verbal conflict patterns associated with physical aggression and sexual coercion in intimate relationships.
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Keywords: ABUSE; DATING VIOLENCE; GENDER; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; SEXUAL ABUSE; VERBAL CONFLICT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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