Methods: Survey data were collected as part of a larger study of 947 high school students on dating, gender beliefs, and abuse. The sample was mostly female (56%) and white (72.2%). Students took an online survey administered in person during school hours. Several measures of gender beliefs were used, and TDA was assessed using the Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory.
Results: Boys (M = 3.58; SD = .77) more strongly endorsed the HSS-A than girls (M = 3.22; SD = .76), t(692) = -6.12, p < .001. We conducted a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to investigate a four-factor structure of the HSS-A across the full sample and by gender. The full sample CFA had an acceptable model fit (RMSEA = .05; CFI = .90) and showed weaker factor loadings than the original HSS study. The fit statistics for males (RMSEA = .04; CFI=.94) were stronger than females (RMSEA = .06; CFI = .90). For girls, zero-order correlations between the HSS-A and TDA showed positive significant positive associations between heterosexual script endorsement and physical abuse victimization (r = .13, p < .05) and perpetration (r = .15, p <.01) and psychological abuse victimization (r = .19, p < .01) and perpetration (r = .20, p <.01). For boys, the HSS was positively associated with psychological abuse victimization (r = .13, p <.05) and perpetration (r = .14, p <.05) only.
Conclusions and Implications: Our study was the first to validate the HSS for use with adolescents. This measure will be helpful in assessing adolescents’ heteronormative and adversarial dating beliefs and how these beliefs might be associated with adolescents dating and sexual behaviors. The HSS-A endorsement was associated with some forms of TDA, a pressing social issue for teens. Although boys endorsed the HSS more overall, there was a stronger association between girls’ endorsement of the HSS and TDA behaviors. These findings could inform future gender belief measurement development and TDA prevention efforts. Further research could also examine whether these factor loadings hold for adolescents with diverse identities.