Exposure to dating violence in all forms during emerging adulthood is associated with a wide range of negative outcomes involving diminished relationship quality (Marcus, 2004) and individual adjustment, including low self-esteem (Katz, et al., 2000), substance use (Eshelman & Levendosky, 2012), school dropout (Kaukinen, 2014), and feelings of depression and anxiety (Hanson, 2002).
To understand these negative outcomes in greater detail, researchers have often sought to explore the impact of specific types of dating violence (e.g., Ellis, Crooks, & Wolfe, 2009).
Reports indicate that by the end of high school, over 75% of emerging adults are involved in romantic relationship (Smetana et al., 2006).
The development of romantic relationships is commonly linked to positive adjustment and increased levels of perceived support (Collins, Welsh, & Furman, 2009).
Self-report assessments of cyber dating abuse, self-esteem, and emotional distress from the relationship were completed.
Mediation analysis using multiple regressions revealed a full mediation model.
The pervasive use of technology among youth has further complicated abusive behaviors in the dating context.
Cyber dating abuse is defined as abuse, threats, or harassment that is digitally perpetrated within a romantic relationship through technology or other forms of new media such as social network sites, text messages, or emails (Zweig, Dank, Yahner, & Lachman, 2013).
Dating abuse is a common experience among emerging adults that has significant consequences for mental and physical well-being (Liu, Yu, & Ma, 2014).
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Second, the electronic medium allows the perpetrator to easily turn private matters public, thus intensifying the victim’s feelings of vulnerability.
This vulnerability is further amplified by the inescapable nature of cyber dating abuse, due to the allowance of constant communication, easier monitoring of a partner’s whereabouts, and added methods of privacy invasion (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010; Wright, 2015).