Psychological aggression committed through technology: A study with dating college students

Academic Article


  • Given the high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among U.S. college students and their frequent use of technological devices (e.g., mobile phones, computers), there is widespread concern that psychological aggression may be occurring via such devices, termed cyber psychological aggression. The purpose of this study was (a) to examine the prevalence and frequency of perpetration and victimization of cyber psychological aggression, (b) to examine the association between cyber psychological aggression and traditional forms and modes of aggression (i.e., physical and face-to-face psychological aggression), and (c) to examine gender differences in the prevalence and frequency of cyber psychological aggression. College students (N = 345) in dating relationships completed the Cyber Psychological Abuse Scale (Leisring & Giumetti, 2014) and the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996) for this study. Results indicated that 73% of males and 77% of females reported committing at least one act of cyber psychological aggression against their partner in their relationship. In addition, 74% of males and 72% of females reported being the victim of cyber psychological aggression in their relationship. No gender differences in the prevalence or frequency of minor cyber psychological aggression perpetration or victimization were found. Men, however, were more likely to report both perpetration and victimization of severe cyber abuse than women. Cyber psychological aggression was positively associated with traditional forms of physical and psychological aggression. The implications of these findings for future research and violence prevention programs are discussed.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zapor H; Wolford-Clevenger C; Elmquist JA; Febres J; Shorey RC; Brasfield H; Leisring PA; Stuart GL
  • Start Page

  • 127
  • End Page

  • 145
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 2