Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Peter G. Jaffe

Second Advisor

Dr. David A. Wolfe

Third Advisor

Dr. Goli M. Rezai-Rashti


The present study was conducted to investigate adolescents’ opinions and perceptions of the prevalence of, dynamics involved in, and gender differences in adolescent dating violence. It was predicted that students would perceive that males perpetrate more physical violence than females, and that this male-perpetrated violence is taken more seriously than female-perpetrated violence. Focus groups were conducted with students at four different schools to gather and assess opinions regarding dating violence among students’ peer groups. Several themes emerged from these focus groups, including students’ relative awareness of overall rates of adolescent dating violence, differing responses of peer groups upon report of victimization and perpetration of abuse, the assertion that substances, home environment and media all play a part in the choice to use violence and the opinion that males perpetrate more violence than females. Implications, next steps and suggestions for future research are discussed.



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