Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Violence and Victims, 37:5 (2022), pp. 683–701. doi:10.1891/VV-2021-0106


Copyright © 2022 Springer Publishing Company. Used by permission.


Though dating violence (DV) is prevalent on college campuses, few studies have examined a multitude of risk factors that may better explain this process. As such, we examined the role of family violence (i.e., childhood physical abuse, witnessing parental violence), personality traits (i.e., entitlement, antisocial personality [ASP] and borderline personality [BP]) and risk behaviors (i.e., risky sexual behaviors, heavy drinking, marijuana use, illicit drug use) on DV victimization and perpetration among 783 college students. Path analysis revealed that witnessing parental violence was linked to DV perpetration while experiencing more physical abuse was positively correlated with entitlement (females only), ASP traits, and BP traits. ASP traits (both males and females) and entitlement (females only) were directly associated with high-risk behaviors. Among females, entitlement was also indirectly associated with DV victimization and perpetration through sexual risk behaviors. Findings highlight the importance of histories of physical abuse and personality traits in understanding DV.