Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2014

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Psychology

Number of Pages

88

First Advisor

Nigro, Georgia

Abstract

This exploratory study examined Chilean university students’ understandings of dating violence. In 2013, a law stipulating legal sanctioning of dating violence was proposed and, if passed, will be the first to achieve legal recognition of violence between non-cohabiting partners in Chile. Quantitative research suggests that dating violence is extremely prevalent in Chile, though statistics alone do not paint a full picture of this issue. I used the qualitative approaches of focus groups and interviews in order to gain a multidimensional understanding of what dating violence means to Chilean university students. At five geographically diverse Chilean universities, I sought to gain a richer understanding of what dating violence in Chile means to university students within the context of newly proposed legal changes. I used grounded theory to find major themes in participants’ understandings of this issue, allowing students’ own words to contextualize dating violence within contemporary Chile. Data analysis revealed the importance of machismo, jealousy, technology and cultural norms to university students’ understandings of dating violence, and suggested that problems exist, including unrecognized victims and a lack of resources for survivors.

Components of Thesis

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