The present study examined social anxiety as a predictor of dating aggression within a late adolescent sample.
Two forms of dating aggression were assessed: physical aggression, such as slapping, use of a weapon, or forced sexual activity, and psychological aggression, such as slamming doors, insulting, or refusing to talk to one’s partner.
“Bullying: a stepping stone towards dating aggression?
” examines the ways in which the risk factors and bullying and dating aggression are similar and ways in which a young person could exhibit both acts of power and control over the course of the youth and adolescence.
One aspect of social anxiety, Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE), emerged as a significant predictor of male dating aggression, even after controlling for relationship quality.
Notably, FNE was most predictive of increased aggression of both types when men also perceived their romantic relationship to be more antagonistic.
The article describes the shared key fundamental elements and roots causes of both behaviors such creating a power differential within interpersonal relationships and what Albert Bandura calls “moral disengagement”.
While there is not a direct causal link between bullying and dating aggression later in life, researchers point out that:…young adolescents who perpetrate bullying become involved in romantic relationships earlier than those who do not bully, and are more likely to report verbal and physical aggression in their earliest intimate relationships.(Josephson and Pepler, 2012) Additionally, the authors site five features that bullying and dating agression prevention programs should share: focus on relationships, emphasis on skill building, focus on peer contexts, a comprehensive approach, and focus on the issue of power.