A Systematic Review of Dating Violence Risk Factors Among Undergraduate College Students. Academic Article uri icon


  • College students are a vulnerable population for dating violence (DV) because of the social environment in which they live and interact with other students. Campus climate surveys are considered best practice for gathering information about the severity and cause of college DV; however, there are still unanswered questions as to why DV remains an alarming public health concern among college students. The aim of this systematic literature review was to examine DV risk factors specific to college students with a special focus on methodological factors and gaps in the literature. Databases EBSCO, Scopus, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, ERIC, and PubMed were searched for articles published between 2006 and 2016, resulting in 23 articles that met inclusion criteria for this review. Very few studies were conducted at private universities (n = 4). Most researchers used descriptive cross-sectional surveys (n = 22), while only one utilized a mixed-methods approach. Measurement scales used to collect DV rates were similar across studies, yet the definition of DV was inconsistent. Types and severity of DV varied across studies, but overall, females were more likely to perpetrate and/or experience DV than males. Individual risk factors (e.g., substance use, risky sexual behaviors) were identified more often than family risk factors (e.g., intergenerational violence) and peer and social risk factors (e.g., Greek-life or athletic team membership, relationship type). A better understanding of new college relationships is critical to identify modifiable risk factors for DV. Recommendations for future practice and research are also discussed.

published proceedings

  • Trauma Violence Abuse

altmetric score

  • 18.85

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Duval, Alicia||Lanning, Beth A||Patterson, Megan S

publication date

  • June 2018