All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sylvie Mrug

Advisory Committee Members

Kristi Guest

Terri Lewis

Suzanne Perumean-Chaney

David Schwebel

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Family violence in childhood is an established predictor of later adolescent dating violence. Additional predictors of adolescent dating violence include individual beliefs about violence, peer interactions, aggressive behavior, and cross-gender violence. However, these factors have not been integrated into a single comprehensive model of dating violence development. Thus, using the proposed dual pathway model, the present study examined prospective links between family violence exposure in pre-adolescence; proviolent beliefs, aggression, deviant peer affiliation, and cross-gender violence in early adolescence; and dating violence involvement in late adolescence; as well as examined gender and ethnic differences in these relationships. A sample of 456 adolescents (52% female; 19% Caucasian, 81% African American) were surveyed at three time points: Pre-adolescence (mean age 11.8), early adolescence (mean age 13.2), and late adolescence (mean age 18.0). Participants reported on their exposure to family violence, beliefs about general and dating violence, overt aggression, deviant peer affiliations, cross-gender violence, and dating violence. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to model relationships between variables. Numerous direct and indirect paths linked family violence to dating violence, with many paths differing by gender and ethnicity. Of note, direct paths between family violence variables and dating violence perpetration, as well as indirect paths between deviant peer affiliation and cross-gender and dating violence perpetration, were stronger for females; while direct paths between family violence variables and dating violence victimization, as well as indirect paths between deviant peer affiliation and cross-gender and dating violence victimization, were stronger for males. African American adolescents showed stronger relationships between deviant peer affiliation and cross-gender violence perpetration. Finally, the overall indirect path beginning from harsh discipline, through general violence beliefs, through overt aggression, and finally culminating dating violence perpetration was significant for both Caucasians and African Americans. Because the dual pathway model revealed several direct and indirect pathways between family violence and dating violence, interventions to prevent the development of dating violence may take place at multiple points along the model.



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