Bullying in Intimate Partner Relationships: Teen Dating Violence and Adult Intimate Partner Violence as Forms of Bullying

  • Paul R. Smokowski
  • Caroline B. R. Evans


This chapter provides an overview of bullying dynamics manifested in teen dating violence (TDV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) between married, cohabitating, or dating adult partners. An overview of TDV and IPV are provided including definitions, prevalence rates, causes, and consequences. Then we go on to apply the bullying definitional framework (repetition, power imbalance, intent to harm) to TDV and IPV and argue that these forms of violence can be understood as forms of bullying. For example, both power and repetition are emphasized in a cycle of coercion and violence inherent in these two forms of violence. Many researchers do not include TDV or IPV in their definition of bullying; however, we apply the lens of the bullying dynamic to broaden the understanding of perpetration and victimization in close relationships. Many couples experience power imbalances and repeated aggression with intent to harm in overt or covert ways. Viewing intimate partner dynamics through the lens of bullying behavior creates a unique way to understand conflict that can plague adolescent and adult couples.


Teen dating violence Domestic violence Intimate partner violence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Smokowski
    • 1
  • Caroline B. R. Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Rhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA

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