Date of Conferral







Donna Heretick


Electronic media are popular for communication among adults ages 18 to 25. However, electronic media may also be used as tools for dating aggression, such as intimidation, insult, control, or abuse. The purpose of this quantitative casual-comparative study was to examine whether adult attachment styles predict electronically-mediated dating aggression. Adult attachment style theory provided the framework for the study. Survey data were collected from 300 first-year college students ages 18 to 25. The independent variable was students’ attachment style as measured by the Experiences of Close Relationships Scale–Revised. Dependent variables were operationalized using the Partner Electronic Aggression Questionnaire, the Situational Triggers of Aggressive Responses, and the Partner Aggression Technology Scale. Results of between-group analyses of variance indicated no significant differences for attachment style in victimization or perpetration or for goals of dating aggression. Students with preoccupied attachment styles scored significantly higher than secure or anxious students in situational triggers for frustration. Results may inform stakeholders regarding risk factors for electronically-mediated dating aggression, and may help stakeholders in planning prevention and intervention activities.