Methods: The data were collected through a cross-sectional online survey from seven universities in the U.S. Participants were university students at 18 years or older (N= 3,376). IPV perpetration and IPV victimization were measured by two 12-item dichotomous scales in areas of threats, physical violence, sexual violence, technological violence, and psychological violence. ACEs were measured by five dichotomous indicators of child maltreatment (CM), peer victimization (PV), other physical and sexual victimization (PSV), exposure to domestic violence (EDV), and witnessing other violence (WV) through a total of 19 questions. Covariates included alcohol and drug use, depression, age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the effect of ACEs, drug and alcohol use, depression, and student demographics on IPV perpetration and IPV victimization for male and female students.
Results: About 42% of students (43% of female students, 39% of male students) reported IPV perpetration, and 61% (63% of female students, 56% of male students) reported IPV victimization. For female students, PV (OR= 1.52), CM (OR= 1.42), EDV (OR= 1.64), drug use (OR= 1.54), and higher depression (OR=1.02) were significantly associated with higher odds of IPV perpetration. For male students, IPV perpetration was significantly associated with PV (OR= 2.70), CM (OR= 1.93), PSV (OR= 1.43), and alcohol use (OR = 1.94). IPV victimization was significantly associated with CM (OR= 1.36), EDV (OR= 1.46), PSV (OR= 1.68), drug use (OR= 1.29), and higher depression (OR= 1.02) for female students. For male students, CM (OR= 1.73), PSV (OR= 1.64), alcohol use (OR= 2.03) and higher depression (OR=1.02) were associated with higher odds of IPV victimization. Compared to White, Asian students had lower odds of IPV victimization for both male and female students.
Conclusions: A gender-specificity exists in the transmission process of ACEs and other risk factors for IPV, in particular, the impacts of exposure to parental domestic violence vs. other physical and sexual violence and the use of drug vs. alcohol. Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach, developing gender-specific approaches to IPV prevention and intervention on college campuses would be necessary. A more integrative approach to IPV prevention that incorporates mental health and substance use treatment needs to be developed for IPV prevention to be effective. The lower rate of IPV victimization among Asian students raises the possibility of existing socio-cultural factors that need to be considered for future research.