Northern European adolescent attitudes toward dating violence

Erica Bowen, Emma Holdsworth, E. Leen, E. Sorbring, B. Helsing, S. Jaans, V. Awouters

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    A focus group methodology was used to examine attitudes toward dating violence among 86 adolescents (aged 12-17) from four northern European countries (England, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium). Four superordinate themes were identified from thematic analyses: gender identities, television as the educator, perceived acceptability of dating violence, and the decision to seek help/tell someone. Although violence in relationships was generally not condoned, when violence was used by females, was unintended (despite its consequences), or was in retaliation for infidelity, violence was perceived as acceptable. Adolescents indicated that their views were stereotypical and based solely on stereotypical television portrayals of violence in relationships. Stereotypical beliefs and portrayals generate barriers for victimized males to seek help because of fear of embarrassment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)619-634
    JournalViolence and Victims
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    • adolescence
    • attitudes
    • dating violence
    • Europe


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