Purpose Digital dating violence (DDV) is an issue of concern with increases in technology use among emerging adults (EA). Despite this surge, predictors of DDV perpetration remain understudied, particularly among non-college EAs. This study examines the relationship between DDV perpetration, trait mindfulness, dating partner residence, receipt of public assistance, and demographic characteristics among at-risk EAs. The evaluation of correlates of DDV perpetration will inform the development of effective treatment interventions.
Methods EAs (n=775) ages 18–25 years treated in the emergency department (ED) for any reason completed a self-administered computerised survey. Ordinary least squares linear regression with a Poisson distribution was conducted to examine associations between DDV perpetration and trait mindfulness, dating partner residence, receipt of public assistance, and demographic characteristics.
Results Thirty-seven percent of the sample was comprised of women, 43% received public assistance, and 25% lived with a dating partner. The majority of the sample identified as Black (61%), while the remaining as Caucasian (39%). Analyses indicated that higher levels of trait mindfulness were associated with lower levels of DDV perpetration (Î²=−0.06, p<0.001). Results further revealed that partner residence (Î²=0.40, p<0.05) and receiving public assistance (Î²=0.44, p<0.01) significantly predicted higher levels of DDV perpetration. Age, gender, and racial group were not significantly related.
Conclusions These findings indicate that lower levels of trait mindfulness, living with a partner and receiving public assistance (likely indicative of economic stressors) were associated with more DDV perpetration. Interventions aimed at reducing DDV perpetration should give special attention to these characteristics.
Contributions This work is part of a growing body of research aimed at developing evidenced-based interventions for DDV perpetration. The identification of correlates of DDV perpetration will contribute to the development of more effective interventions to mitigate this type of aggression.
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