Predictors of Dating Violence Among Chinese Adolescents: The Role of Gender-Role Beliefs and Justification of Violence

April Chiung Tao Shen, Marcus Y L CHIU, Jianxiu Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


In Chinese societies, violence among adolescent dating partners remains a largely ignored and invisible phenomenon. The goal of this study is to examine the relationships among gender-role beliefs, attitudes justifying dating violence, and the experiences of dating-violence perpetration and victimization among Chinese adolescents. This study has used self-reporting measures to collect data from a probability sample of 976 adolescents (mean age = 15.9) in three Chinese societies: Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Research results reveal a high prevalence of dating violence (including physical violence, sexual violence, and controlling behavior) among Chinese adolescents with dating experience: the perpetration rate is 27.3% and the victimization rate is 39%. Study results demonstrate that adolescents who endorse traditional gender-role beliefs tend to view dating violence as acceptable behavior. Boys' endorsement of traditional gender roles, boys' attitudes justifying boy-on-girl violence, and boys' attitudes against girl-on-boy violence predict boys' actual sexual-violence behavior. Moreover, boys' attitudes justifying boy-on-girl dating violence is the strongest predictor of boys' perpetration of physical and sexual dating violence. This study also shows that boys' hostility is a significant predictor of boys' controlling behavior. Programs for preventing dating violence should include components designed to challenge traditional gender-role beliefs and attitudes justifying dating violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1089
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

User-Defined Keywords

  • adolescents
  • Chinese
  • dating violence
  • gender role
  • justification of violence


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