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Keywords:

  • aggression;
  • media;
  • television;
  • relational aggression;
  • abuse;
  • intimate partner violence

Abstract

Various studies have found that viewing physical or relational aggression in the media can impact subsequent engagement in aggressive behavior. However, this has rarely been examined in the context of relationships. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to examine the connection between viewing various types of aggression in the media and perpetration of aggression against a romantic partner. A total of 369 young adults completed a variety of questionnaires asking for their perpetration of various forms of relationship aggression. Participants' exposure to both physical and relational aggression in the media was also assessed. As a whole, we found a relationship between viewing aggression in the media and perpetration of aggression; however, this depended on the sex of the participant and the type of aggression measured. Specifically, exposure to physical violence in the media was related to engagement in physical aggression against their partner only for men. However, exposure to relational aggression in the media was related to romantic relational aggression for both men and women. Aggr. Behav. 37:56–62, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.