Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted by using the following four databases to complete a literature search: Academic Search Premier, ERIC, ProQuest, and PsycINFO. Within each database, searches were conducted on terms related to risk and protective factors for university dating and sexual violence at non-traditional institutions. The titles and abstracts of these articles were reviewed to determine relevancy to the study resulting in 362 relevant articles. After further review, 350 articles were screened out for a series of reasons including if they were duplicates, review articles, not conducted in the USA, conducted at a traditional institution, did not include risk or protective factors for DSV, etc. After screening the articles, only twelve studies remained that were coded to understand DSV risk and protective factors that have been examined at non-traditional institutions as well as the type of violence studied and the type of institution in which the research was conducted.
Results: The most studied type of risk and protective factors of campus DSV among the sample (n=12 studies) were substance use (n=4 studies), psychological factors (e.g., attachment anxiety, impulse control, etc.; n=4), sexual behaviors or attitudes (n=2), and prior life experiences (n=1). Of these factors, only a couple (n=2) were protective factors while the rest of the examined factors were risk factors that increased DSV victimization or perpetration. The type of violence studied included intimate partner violence (n=7 studies), sexual violence (n=4), and dating violence (n=1). Types of institutions included non-predominantly white institutions, (n=9), Minority Serving Institutions (n=2), commuter college (n=1), and community college (n=1).
Conclusions: This review demonstrates that the most studied risk and protective factors for campus DSV victimization and perpetration at non-traditional institutions included substance use and psychological factors. Fewer studies were on sexual behaviors or attitudes and past life experiences. Few studies (n=12) were identified, indicating that research on risk and protective factors for DSV at non-traditional institutions is lacking and more research is needed to understand DSV at non-traditional institutions. For DSV prevention efforts to work, they must address risk and protective factors. Given the lack of understanding of such factors at non-traditional institutions, future research must examine DSV risk and protective factors at institutions where the majority of students are not white and/or the institution is not a traditional 4-year institution.