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Cohabitation and Intimate Partner Violence During Emerging Adulthood: High Constraints and Low Commitment

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Issues Volume: 39 Issue: 4 Dated: 2018 Pages: 1030-1055
Date Published
26 pages
Since in recent years a majority of young adults experience cohabitation and cohabitation is a risk factor for intimate partner violence (IPV), the current study drew on social exchange and commitment theory in analyzing young adults' IPV experiences, using the recently collected (2011-2012) Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study data (n = 926).

The study found that sociodemographic characteristics, relationship commitment, quality, and constraints, as well as prior experience with violence (in prior relationships and family of origin) were associated with IPV, but did not explain the association between cohabitation and IPV. The study examined variation among individuals in cohabiting relationships to determine which cohabitors faced the greatest risk of IPV. Serial cohabitors and cohabitors who experienced both low commitment and high relational constraints, experienced the greatest risk of IPV. These findings provided insights into the implications of cohabitation for the well-being of young adults. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018