RADD: Relationships And Digital Devices in adolescent dating

  • Project Leader

    Dr Cynthia Brown

Project Details

Rationale for research

Dating violence is a significant problem in the intimate lives of young people.  Digital dating abuse is an emerging form of dating violence, and whilst there is growing research interest in the phenomenon, significant measurement issues exist.  Current measures are characterised by definitional inconsistencies and limited behavioural scope.  This renders comparison of prevalence estimates difficult, and obscures our understanding of this growing social problem.  This PhD project aims to develop a reliable and valid measure of digital dating abuse in young people’s dating relationships, and in turn, gain a more thorough understanding of the phenomenon and its effects.

Objectives

The objectives of the PhD project are as follows:

  1. To determine how harmful digital dating abuse is young people’s dating relationships are;
  2. To develop a reliable and valid measure of digital dating abuse; and
  3. To understand the victimisation and perpetration rates of digital dating abuse, and how they differ across gender and location.

Study Design

Phase 1: Qualitative

Focus Groups will be used to inform the development of a pilot digital dating abuse questionnaire.

Phase 2: Quantitative

Phase 2 involves online distribution of the digital dating abuse questionnaire.  Exploratory factor analysis will be undertaken to determine the structure of the digital dating abuse phenomenon.  Estimated prevalence of, and insight into how harmful the behaviors are, will also be explored.

Phase 3: Quantitative

Phase 3 involves online distribution of the refined digital dating abuse questionnaire.   Confirmatory factor analysis will be used to assess the extent to which the hypothesized structure of scale items identified in Phase 2 fits the data from Phase 3.  The level of harm experienced by victims, and the prevalence of digital dating abuse behaviors will also be assessed.

Setting

General population, rural and urban

Participants

Phase 1: Focus Groups

Four focus groups each consisting of approximately 8 young people aged 16-24 years are proposed. Two of the focus groups will be based in rural and two in urban locations, with one all-male group and one all-female group in each location.

Phase 2: Online Questionnaire

Approximately 400 male and female participants, across rural and urban locations, aged 16-24 years will be recruited via online advertisements, universities and youth sporting and vocational groups.

Phase 3: Online Questionnaire

It is anticipated that approximately 400 male and female participants, across rural and urban locations, aged 16-24 years will be recruited via online advertisements, universities and youth sporting and vocational groups.  This number will be reviewed upon development of the final digital dating abuse questionnaire.

When final results will be reported/timeline/are preliminary results available..?

Phase 1 Focus Group results are expected to be available mid 2016.

Phase 2 Online Questionnaire results are expected to be available mid 2017.

Phase 3 Online Questionnaire results are expected to be available mid 2018.

Research Group

Researching Abuse and Violence: RAVE


Areas of Excellence

Neuroscience and Psychiatry


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice