Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Wyndol Furman


Alcohol, Aggression, Dating, Young adults


A theoretical moderator model posits that the associations between alcohol use and dating aggression involvement (i.e., psychological, physical, and sexual victimization and perpetration) vary depending on both background (e.g., individual psychopathology) and situational (e.g., relationship characteristics) risk factors. Specifically, alcohol use is thought to be more strongly associated with dating aggression in the context of more individual psychopathology and as well as more relationship risk. The current study is the first to examine these associations both concurrently and longitudinally in young adulthood. Further, it also examined how the experience of dating aggression involvement itself may then contribute to further risk. Using an intensive longitudinal design, the present study collected six waves of community based longitudinal data from 120 participants (60 females; M age Wave 1 = 22.44), spanning six months. A series of multilevel models first examined how the links between alcohol use and dating aggression varied by the degree of both individual psychopathology as well as relationship risk. Main effects emerged such that alcohol use, individual psychopathology, and relationship risk were all associated with greater risk for dating aggression involvement. Consistent with a moderator model, interactions emerged between alcohol use and relationship risk for both psychological and physical dating aggression involvement. Next, additional multilevel models tested a longitudinal moderator model and a feedback loop. Consistent with hypotheses, interactions emerged between alcohol use and relationship risk in predicting increases in both physical and sexual dating aggression involvement. The associations between alcohol use and dating aggression involvement were stronger as relationship risk increased. Finally, consistent with a feedback loop, dating aggression involvement predicted increases in alcohol use, individual psychopathology, and relationship risk, though the specific patterns varied. Findings indicate that the intersection of alcohol use and relationship risk may be especially relevant during this developmental period, underscoring each’s potential malleability for intervention and prevention development. Further, they better elucidate how changes in dating aggression involvement occur and how the consequences of involvement incur subsequent risk.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. This work may only be accessed by members of the University of Denver community. The work is provided by permission of the author for individual research purposes only and may not be further copied or distributed. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Charlene Collibee


Received from author

File Format




File Size

81 pgs