Unraveling the Roles of Distrust, Suspicion of Infidelity, and Jealousy in Cyber Dating Abuse Perpetration: An Attachment Theory Perspective

Toplu-Demirtas E., Akcabozan-Kayabol N. B., Aracı İyiaydın A., Fincham F. D.

JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, vol.37, no.3-4, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 3-4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0886260520927505
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: anxious attachment, dyadic trust, anticipated partner infidelity, jealousy, cyber dating abuse perpetration, emerging adults, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, ELECTRONIC INTRUSION, AGGRESSION, SCALE, VALIDATION, ANXIETY, VICTIMIZATION, QUESTIONNAIRE, ADOLESCENCE, TECHNOLOGY
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


People who are anxiously attached, distrustful and jealous of their partners, and suspect infidelity are more likely to use psychological dating violence. Is this also true for cyber dating abuse perpetration (CDAP)? This study investigated the prevalence of and gender differences in self-reported CDAP and whether trust, anticipated partner infidelity, and jealousy serially mediated the association between anxious attachment and CDAP in a sample of Turkish college students. College students (N = 390) completed the Cyber Dating Violence Inventory, Anxious Attachment subscale of the Experiences in Close Relationship Scale-Short Form, Dyadic Trust Scale, Cognitive Jealousy subscale of the Multidimensional Jealousy Scale, Partners' Intentions Towards Infidelity Scale, and a Demographic Information Form. A total of 67% of the sample used at least one cyber abusive behavior with their partner over the last 6 months. A multiple serial mediation model indicated that greater anxious attachment was related to more dyadic distrust, the anticipation of partner infidelity, and jealousy, and, in turn, to the use of cyber dating abuse. Overall, results show that the prevalence of CDAP is high and that attachment theory offers a promising framework for identifying predictors of CDAP in emerging adults. These findings have implications for research, intervention, and prevention of CDAP by identifying potential risk factors for perpetrating cyber abuse.