Experiential avoidance and male dating violence perpetration: An initial investigation

Ryan C. Shorey, JoAnna Elmquist, Heather Zucosky, Jeniimarie Febres, Hope Brasfield, Gregory L. Stuart

Dating violence among college students represents a prevalent and serious problem. An abundance of research has examined risk and protective factors for dating violence, although only recently has research begun to focus on risk and protective factors that could be amenable to change in intervention programs. One potential risk factor for dating violence may be experiential avoidance. Using the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II; Bond et al., 2011), we examined whether experiential avoidance was associated with male perpetrated dating violence after controlling for age, relationship satisfaction, and alcohol use. Within a sample of male college students in a current dating relationship (N=109) results demonstrated that experiential avoidance was positively associated with psychological, physical, and sexual aggression perpetration, and that it remained associated with psychological and sexual aggression after controlling for age, relationship satisfaction, and alcohol use. The implications of these findings for future research and prevention programs are discussed.

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