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Journal Article


Fernández-González L, O'Leary KD, Munoz-Rivas MJ. J. Interpers. Violence 2013; 28(3): 602-620.


(Copyright © 2013, SAGE Publishing)






Underreporting of intimate partner aggression is an important issue in the interpretation of self-reports of such aggression, especially by males. However, both males and females are less likely to report negative behaviors about themselves than about their partners. With 863 adolescents from Madrid, social desirability had a small but significant association with reports of dating aggression, but covariance corrections for social desirability did not alter the conclusions about such aggression. Using uncorrected or corrected means for social desirability, males engage in more sexual aggression against their partners and females engage in more psychological and physical aggression. Maximal dyadic reports based on reports by either self or partner significantly increased the rates of aggression, although conclusions about perpetration and victimization did not differ with this correction. Rates of aggression dropped roughly half when corrected for aggression in a joking context, but more females still reported engaging in physical aggression against their partners. The corrections one wishes to use depend upon the sample under study-i.e., adolescent versus adult populations-and one's research or clinical question, but the use of social desirability controls seems ill-founded. Finally, there is a need for in-depth interviews with both partners in dating relationships to determine more about the contextual factors associated with dating aggression and to assist in knowing what correction factors seem most valid.

Language: en


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