Courtship violence using couple data: characteristics and perceptions

J Interpers Violence. 2005 Sep;20(9):1078-95. doi: 10.1177/0886260505278106.


This study examined courtship violence using couple data. Participants were 50 heterosexual dating couples with at least one member of the couple being a university student. Using the Conflict Tactics Scales 2 (CTS2), both members of a couple reported on received and inflicted physical and psychological violence. The prevalence of physical aggression depended on how violence was defined. On the CTS2, 60% of couples were considered physically violent when within-couple agreement was not considered; this dropped to as low as 28% when agreement had to be present. Women were more likely than men to report inflicting psychological aggression and to report aggressing against their partner with a playful intent. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the need to continue to examine courtship violence, especially by utilizing responses from both members of a couple.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression* / psychology
  • Courtship*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology