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Assault and Injury of Dating Partners by University Students in 19 Countries and Its Relation to Corporal Punishment Experienced as a Child

NCJ Number
European Journal of Criminology Volume: 3 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2006 Pages: 293-318
Emily M. Douglas; Murray A. Straus
Date Published
July 2006
26 pages
This study examined the association between the experience of corporal punishment in a social setting as a child and the assault and injury of a dating partner among university students in 19 countries.
Overall, the findings indicated that settings with a high rate of corporal punishment by parents also had high levels of dating assault and injury among university students. The results have implications for violence reduction policies in that they suggest primary prevention efforts should focus on reducing the use of corporal punishment by parents. While large differences were found in the prevalence of corporal punishment between the 36 university sites, the median rate of corporal punishment was 56 percent, which was considered high. The percentage of students who experienced corporal punishment as children ranged from 13 percent to 73 percent. Rates of assaulting a dating partner ranged from 15 percent to 45 percent, with a median rate of 30 percent. Rates of severe dating partner assaults ranged from 4.4 percent to 20 percent. Injury rates stemming from partner assault ranged from 1 percent to 20 percent. The findings suggest a critical public health and crime problem among youth from relatively privileged segments of the 19 countries examined. The study was part of the International Dating Violence Study, which relied on a convenience sample of 9,549 students at 36 universities in 19 countries to measure the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Participants completed questionnaires that measured the use of corporal punishment by parents and approval of dating partner violence. Statistical data analysis included the use of partial correlation analysis. Future studies should attempt to replicate these findings with more diverse populations. Tables, figure, references


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