Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Ernest Hodges

Second Advisor

Elissa Brown,

Third Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe


Dating violence is a prevalent problem with many long-term deleterious effects, including difficulties with future relationships. Much of the research regarding beliefs about dating violence focuses on the acceptability of violence. The justification of violence in certain situations, such as self-defense, revenge, or playing around, has been found to be strongly related with dating violence, and even to predict dating violence perpetration, particularly among men. Further research has shown that individuals who adhere to traditional gender role attitudes display greater acceptance of violence against women in particular. Additional research has shown that when gender norms are violated, it leads to gender role discrepancy stress, which is associated with dating violence perpetration. However, the majority of the literature focuses on male gender role attitudes and male dating violence toward women, and less is known about the impact of gender role attitudes on female perpetration or experience of dating violence. This study examined 291 young adults between ages 18 and 20. Participants completed anonymous online surveys on experiences of dating violence, gender role attitudes, acceptance of dating violence, and gender stress. Partial correlations revealed that dating violence perpetration is significantly related to attitudes accepting dating violence and gender role attitudes when controlling for victimization. Dating violence victimization is correlated with felt pressure for gender conformity and gender typicality after effects of perpetration are controlled. While traditional gender role attitudes significantly moderated the relationship between acceptance of dating violence and perpetration, gender stress was not found to play a role between the predictor and outcome variables. Surprisingly, gender did not differentiate outcomes for any of the examined interactions.