Violence and Aggression in College Students: Investigating Romantic and Friends With Benefits Relationships

dc.contributor.advisorWeston, Rebecca
dc.contributor.authorThomas, Rebecca
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMcNaughton-Cassill, Mary
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFuhrman, Robert
dc.contributor.committeeMemberZawacki, Tina
dc.descriptionThis item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff. To download, navigate to Log In in the top right-hand corner of this screen, then select Log in with my UTSA ID.
dc.description.abstractAlthough college students commonly participate in a variety of relationships, including romantic relationships and friends with benefits relationships (FWBRs), little research has investigated aggressive behavior in FWBRs. This dissertation sought to address this gap by investigating a) the prevalence of verbal and emotional abuse, physical abuse, and relational abuse in college students' romantic relationships and FWBRs, and b) differences in aggressive behavior between college females' FWBRs and romantic relationships. To investigate this topic, online surveys were completed by 505 college students who reported at least one romantic relationship or FWBR during the past year. Participants were asked to report on aggressive behavior in their relationships (both romantic and FWBR) during the past year, as well as report their commitment and sexual exclusivity in each relationship. Additionally, participants reported on other factors such as gender role endorsement, depression, and substance abuse symptoms. Data were analyzed using a series of multi-level models and hierarchical linear regression analyses. Results suggest that more aggressive behavior tended to occur in romantic relationships compared to FWBRs. Sexual non-exclusivity and commitment related to violence perpetration and victimization in both romantic relationships and FWBRs, and depression symptoms positively correlated to female violence perpetration overall. Future research should investigate whether relationship length relates to aggression in romantic relationships and FWBRs, and the degree to which relationship expectations (i.e. regarding exclusivity or commitment) relate to aggressive behavior. With future research and replication, this dissertation can inform professionals on college campuses who seek to reduce aggression and improve students' relationships.
dc.format.extent130 pages
dc.subjectaggressive behavior
dc.subjectcollege students
dc.subjectfriends with benefits
dc.subjectinterpersonal relationships
dc.subjectintimate partner violence
dc.subjectromantic relationships
dc.subject.classificationSocial psychology
dc.titleViolence and Aggression in College Students: Investigating Romantic and Friends With Benefits Relationships
dcterms.accessRightspq_closed of Texas at San Antonio of Philosophy


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