CHAPTER 16: Drug Use and Dating Violence among University Undergraduates by Emeh A. Udoh, Enwongo A. Okediji, Okokon O. Umoh & Nsidibe A. Usoro


Violence in dating relationships is a widespread problem on campuses (Murray & Kardatzke, 2007). Research reveals that 29% of 8666 students surveyed in a study involving 31 universities in 16 countries had physically assaulted a dating partner in the past one year (Straus, 2004). According to Shook, Gerrity et al. (2000) between 80% and 90% of students abused their dating partners verbally. 0.3% of college students were sexually aggressive towards their dating partners (Bryant & Spencer, 2003). These rates of perpetration of physical, psychological, and sexual violence among university students indicates that dating violence is a major problem.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009), dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two people in a close relationship. It can be physical, emotional, psychological or sexual. Dating violence has been de?ned as the use or threat of physical force or restraint carried out with the intent of causing pain or injury to another within a dating relationship (Sugarman & Hotaling, 1989). Carr &Vandeuser1 (2002) assert that forced or coerced sexual activity, dominating behaviours, verbal denigration, social isolation as well as wilful and repeated harassment that instils fear in the victim are components of dating violence. Dating violence often begins with teasing and name calling, and develops into more serious violence like physical assault and rape (CDC, 2009).
Leisring, (2009) states that the consequences of perpetrating dating violence can be reinforcing or punishing. For example, Arias, (1990) revealed that some students reported that their dating partners yelled at them, became angrier and threatened violence against them as a result of them perpetrating physical violence, while others reported that they got along better with their dating partners and also got their way as a result of perpetrating violence. Studies have also shown that students who harm their dating partners are more depressed and more aggressive than their peers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009).