The relationship between violence in the family of origin and dating violence among college students

Angela R. Gover, Catherine Kaukinen, Kathleen A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Prior research has established that violence in dating relationships is a serious social problem among adolescents and young adults. Exposure to violence during childhood has been linked to dating violence victimization and perpetration. Also known as the intergenerational transmission of violence, the link between violence during childhood and dating violence has traditionally focused on physical violence. This research examines the relationship between experiencing and perpetrating dating violence and exposure to violence in the family of origin. Specifically, the current research examines gender differences in the relationship between exposure to violence during childhood and physical and psychological abuse perpetration and victimization. Data were collected from a sample of approximately 2,500 college students at two southeastern universities. Findings indicate that childhood exposure to violence is a consistent predictor of involvement in relationships characterized by violence for males and females. The implications of the current research on policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1667-1693
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • Dating violence
  • Family of origin violence
  • Intergenerational transmission of violence
  • Perpetration and victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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