Publication Date

Fall 2004


Literature concerning the intergenerational transmission of violence has a strong foundation of data that supports specific causes for the transmission. What is lacking are studies that focus on moderating the cycle of the intergenerational transmission of violence. This study looked for a correlation between witnessing abuse as a child and dating violence in college undergraduate females. Religiousness was looked at as a moderator that would hinder the transmission of violence into a dating relationship. The sample consisted of 101 college female undergraduates at one liberal arts, all female institution; one liberal arts, coeducational, religiously affiliated institution; and one liberal arts, coeducational, loosely religiously affiliated institution in a southeastem state. Women were asked to complete surveys on intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness, involvement in dating violence since they started college, and their past experiences of witnessing abuse in their family. Results showed that the intergenerational transmission of violence as seen in college dating is not an inevitable cycle. However, religiousness does not seem to be a direct moderating factor in breaking that cycle, but may be an important factor in more directive interventions such as mentoring or conflict resolution programs.