Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dionne P. Stephens

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Asia A. Eaton

Third Advisor's Name

Mary J. Levitt

Fourth Advisor's Name

Thomas R. Reio


Intimate Partner Violence, Verbal Intimate Partner Violence, Intimate Partner Violence victimization, Hispanic college women, Hispanic college women Intimate Partner Violence

Date of Defense



Prior research has shown that college women in the United States are experiencing significantly high rates of verbal intimate partner violence (IPV); estimates indicate that approximately 20-30% of college women experience verbal IPV victimization (e.g., Hines, 2007; Muñoz-Rivas, Graña, O'Leary, & González, 2009). Verbal IPV is associated with physical consequences, such as chronic pain and migraine headaches, and psychological implications, including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance use (Coker et al., 2002). However, few studies have examined verbal IPV in college populations, and none have focused on Hispanic college women who are members of the largest minority population on college campuses today (Pew Research Center, 2013), and experience higher rates of IPV victimization (Ingram, 2007). The current dissertation sought to address these gaps by examining the influence of familial conflict strategies on Hispanic college women’s verbal IPV victimization. Further, within group differences were explored, with specific attention paid to the role of acculturation and gender role beliefs. A total of 906 from two Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) in the southeastern (N=502) and southwestern (N=404) United States participated in the three part study. Study one examined the influence of parental conflict strategies on Hispanic women’s verbal IPV victimization in current romantic relationships. Consistent with previous research, results indicated that parental use of verbal violence influenced verbal IPV victimization in the current romantic relationship. A unidirectional effect of paternal use of verbal aggression towards the participant on maternal verbal aggression towards the participant was also found. Study two examined the influence of parental conflict strategies, acculturation, and gender role beliefs on victimization. Acculturation and gender role beliefs were found to not have an influence on participants’ verbal IPV victimization. Study three examined within-group differences using Study two’s model. Differences were found between the southeastern and southwestern participants; gender role beliefs increased rates of verbal IPV victimization in the southeastern population. The current dissertation fills a gap in the literature on IPV experiences in Hispanic college populations, the importance of examining verbal IPV trends, and highlights importance differing cultural influences within populations traditionally viewed as homogenous. The implications for future research are discussed.





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