Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 102–113 | Cite as

Risky Interactions: Relational and Developmental Moderators of Substance Use and Dating Aggression

  • Charlene CollibeeEmail author
  • Wyndol Furman
  • Jamie Shoop
Empirical Research


Physical dating aggression is a prevalent and costly public health concern. A theoretical moderator model of substance use and dating aggression posits that associations between them are moderated by relational risk factors. To test these theoretical expectations, the current study examined seven waves of longitudinal data on a community-based sample of 100 male and 100 female participants in a Western U.S. city (M age Wave 1 = 15.83; 69.5% White non-Hispanic, 12.5% Hispanic, 11.5% African Americans, & 12.5% Hispanics). Multilevel models examined how links between substance use and dating aggression varied by relational risk and how these patterns changed developmentally. Main effects of relational risk and substance use emerged, particularly in adolescence. In young adulthood significant three-way interactions emerged such that substance use was more strongly associated with physical aggression when conflict and jealousy were higher. Thus, relational risk factors are integral to models of dating aggression, but their role changes developmentally.


Dating aggression Dating violence Romantic relationships Substance use 



Appreciation is expressed to the Project Star staff for their assistance in collecting the data, and to the Project Star participants and their partners, friends and families. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Charlene Collibee. Appreciation is expressed to the Project Star staff for their assistance in collecting the data, and to the Project Star participants and their partners, friends and families.

Authors’ Contributions

CC conceived of the study, performed the statistical analyses, interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript; WF conceived of the study, participated in the design and coordination of the study, the interpretation of the data, and contributed to the writing of the manuscript; JS contributed to the writing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Preparation of this manuscript was supported by Grant 050106 from the National Institute of Mental Health (W. Furman, P.I.) and Grant 049080 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (W. Furman, P.I.). The preparation of this manuscript was also supported by F31 AA023692 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (C. Collibee, P.I.).

Data Sharing and Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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