This article reports on an examination of demographic differences between intimate partners and how social characteristics are associated with intimate partner violence.
Social characteristics are prominent factors in mate selection, but they are also important for the quality and functioning of intimate relationships. Researchers have shown that the intimate relationships that are considered the most successful often have high levels of partner similarity. Yet this prior work is limited, as it largely focuses on demographic differences (or asymmetries) between intimate partners. In addition to demographic asymmetries, the authors explored how differences in relational and risk behaviors were associated with intimate partner violence (IPV). Examining data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study, the authors found that young adults in relationships with demographic, relational, and risk asymmetries reported greater frequency of violence. They also found that asymmetries in risk behavior had the strongest association with IPV. These findings highlighted the importance of considering different types of asymmetries and provided new insight into the functioning of young adult relationships. Publisher Abstract Provided