Date of this version
dating/dating violence, middle school, intervention/prevention, violence/violent behaviors, romantic/dating relationships, communication
This exploratory study examined middle school students’ (N = 380) help-seeking behaviors and other reactions to controlling behaviors in their dating relationships. Over three-fourths of the participants perpetrated and were victimized by controlling behaviors in their dating relationships. Youth used emotional/verbal and dominance/isolation forms of controlling behaviors. More youth were victimized by dominance/isolation controlling behaviors than emotional/verbal controlling behaviors. Gender and age differences emerged when evaluating the type of controlling behaviors youth used. The majority of youth were willing to seek help when confronted with various types of controlling behaviors in their dating relationships. Gender and age differences also emerged in youth’s reactions to controlling behaviors. More understanding of youth’s reactions to controlling behaviors in their dating relationships may assist prevention educators in intervening before controlling behaviors in dating relationships turn into actual dating violence.
The Journal of Early Adolescence