Types of aggressive relationships in adolescent dating violence

Claire Burke Draucker, Donna S. Martsolf, Pamela Stephenson, Terri Heckman, Candice P. Ferguson, Shannon Perkins, Christina Benson Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Seven types of aggressive relationships in which adolescent dating violence occurs were identified in this qualitative study. Eighty-five young adults described 114 aggressive romantic relationships they had experienced as adolescents. Constant comparison analysis was used to create a typology from these data. The relationships were characterized by two main factors: the regularity and frequency of the aggression (i.e., the topography of the aggression) and the extent to which each partner initiated and engaged in aggressive acts (i.e., the directionality of the aggression). The aggressive relationships were identified as turbulent, maltreating, brawling, volatile, bickering, deprecating, and intrusive. The key characteristics of each type of relationship are described and exemplars are presented. Implications for theory construction and program development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-539
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • Constant comparison analysis
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical violence
  • Sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)

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    Draucker, C. B., Martsolf, D. S., Stephenson, P., Heckman, T., Ferguson, C. P., Perkins, S., & Cook, C. B. (2012). Types of aggressive relationships in adolescent dating violence. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 21(5), 516-539. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2012.678467