Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Richard S. Riggs


In recent years dating violence has become more and more prevalent on college campuses. Reports of the range of dating violence vary widely, with studies reporting from 20% to 85% of college women experiencing dating violence. However, almost all research has been conducted among urban and/or large colleges and universities, with virtually no attention to what is happening on small and/or rural college and university campuses.

When a possible 20% of college women have experienced dating violence on college campuses, there becomes a crucial need for administration at a college to have an accurate assessment of the college’s liability, and of the adequacy of the college’s programs and policies relative to dating violence. This study sought to determine whether administrators and female students on small rural college campuses have the same perceptions of the type and incidence of dating violence on their campus, and of the programs and policies the college has put into place to prevent and respond to dating violence. Two domains of perceptions were addressed, dating violence beliefs and experience, and dating violence policy knowledge. The same question was examined to determine if perceptions of resident and commuter students were the same, and if perceptions of under and upper class students were the same. The investigator surveyed 52 college administrators and 306 female students at a total of four small rural college campuses to determine whether administrator and female student perceptions of dating violence incidence/type and dating violence program/policy knowledge at the college were similar.

Results were that administrators tended to have similar perceptions to students as regards dating violence beliefs and experience, although not specific types of dating violence. Students did not exhibit a strong knowledge of dating violence policy. Resident and commuter students displayed similar perceptions to each other, as did under class and upper class students.