A test of explanations for the effect of harsh parenting on the perpetration of dating violence and sexual coercion among college males

Leslie Gordon Simons, Callie Harbin Burt, Ronald L. Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


This study uses structural equation modeling (SEM) with a sample of 760 college males to test various hypotheses regarding the avenues whereby harsh corporal punishment and a troubled relationship with parents increase the risk that a boy will grow up to engage in sexual coercion and dating violence. We found that three variables - a general antisocial orientation, sexually permissive attitudes, and believing that violence is a legitimate component of romantic relationships - mediated most of the association between negative parenting and our two outcomes. In addition to this indirect influence, we found that harsh corporal punishment had a direct effect upon dating violence. The findings are discussed with regard to various theoretical perspectives regarding the manner in which family of origin experiences increase the chances that a young man will direct violence toward a romantic partner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-82
Number of pages17
JournalViolence and victims
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008



  • Antisocial orientation
  • Harsh corporal punishment
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Parenting
  • Transmission of violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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