Automatic cognitions and teen dating violence

Ernest N. Jouriles, John H. Grych, David Rosenfield, Renee McDonald, M. Catherine Dodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present research examined whether the level of aggression in automatic cognitions was positively associated with teen dating violence after accounting for more consciously controlled, self-reported attitudes about dating violence. At baseline, 95 teens who had been remanded to the juvenile court system because of antisocial behavior completed a word-completion task designed to measure the level of aggression in their automatic cognitions. Teens also completed questionnaire measures of attitudes about dating violence and dating violence perpetration during the previous three months, and then provided data on dating violence perpetration every two weeks over a 3-month follow-up period. The level of aggression in automatic cognitions was positively associated with dating violence perpetration after accounting for teens' self-reported attitudes about dating violence. This pattern of results emerged with both concurrent and prospective associations. It is noteworthy that aggression in automatic cognitions also predicted changes in dating violence perpetration over the 3-month follow-up period, even after controlling for baseline levels of the perpetration of dating violence and teens' self-reported attitudes about dating violence. These findings suggest that theoretical models of teen dating violence should consider the role of automatic as well as more consciously controlled cognitive processes in the perpetration of teen dating violence. In addition, clinical efforts to reduce teen dating violence might benefit from targeting automatic as well as more controlled cognitive processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-314
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Violence
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • automatic cognitions
  • teen dating violence
  • word-completion task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology

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    Jouriles, E. N., Grych, J. H., Rosenfield, D., McDonald, R., & Dodson, M. C. (2011). Automatic cognitions and teen dating violence. Psychology of Violence, 1(4), 302-314. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025157