Cyber and in-person intimate partner violence victimization: Examining maladaptive psychosocial and behavioral correlates


This study examines psychological and behavioral correlates of cyber and in-person intimate partner victimization (IP-IPV; psychological, physical, and sexual violence) including strain (i.e., depression and anger), substance use, and antisocial behavior among young adults. Because intimate partner cyber aggression victimization (C-IPV) has received less research attention than IP-IPV, it is important to learn whether such victimization experiences are similar to in-person victimization experiences in terms of their associations with maladaptive functioning or whether they comprise a unique form of IPV. The study also explores strain as a potential mediator of the link between IPV victimization and maladaptive behavior. A sample of undergraduate students aged 18-25 who were in intimate relationships during the past year participated in a voluntary and anonymous online survey (n = 540). Results signaled that C-IPV and IP-IPV shared similar correlates (e.g. depression, substance use, and antisocial behavior) and C-IPV was linked with more forms of maladaptive behavior than certain types of in-person IPV victimization (e.g., sexual and physical) experiences. Results indicated partial support for the predicted mediation. Males were also at higher risk for engaging in substance use and antisocial behavior across all models. The study suggests that harmful electronic exchanges may have adverse consequences for young adults. As such, services providers and educators addressing the issue of IPV should tailor prevention and intervention strategies in a way that is inclusive of cyber aggression and considers it a public health concern.

Bibliographic citation

Melander, L. A., & Marganski, A. J. (2020). Cyber and in-person intimate partner violence victimization: Examining maladaptive psychosocial and behavioral correlates. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 14(1), Article 1. doi:


Cyber aggression; electronic aggression; intimate partner violence; substance use; antisocial behavior; strain theory

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