Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Cyberabuse, Sexual Aggression, and Intimate Partner Violence Among U.S. Young Adults.

Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Cyberabuse, Sexual Aggression, and Intimate Partner Violence Among U.S. Young Adults.

Publication date: Feb 20, 2024

Quarantine guidelines that arose with the COVID-19 pandemic limited opportunities for social interaction, raising concerns about increases in intimate partner violence and cyberabuse while simultaneously restricting access to help. The current study assessed increases in cyberabuse, sexual aggression, and intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in a U. S. nationally representative sample of young adults ages 18 to 35, recruited from a probability-based household panel. Data were collected between November 2020 and May 2021. Descriptive analyses were conducted to assess the prevalence of any self-reported increase in cyberabuse, sexual aggression, or intimate partner victimization or perpetration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Logistic regression models were run for each outcome measuring any increase compared to no increase. Approximately one in ten U. S. young adults ages 18 to 35 reported experiencing an increase in cyberabuse victimization (12. 6%) and cyberabuse perpetration (8. 9%) during the pandemic. Similar proportions were observed for increased sexual aggression victimization (11. 8%) and perpetration (9. 0%). More than one in five respondents (21. 4%) reported that their intimate partner was more physically, sexually, or emotionally aggressive toward them during the pandemic. Conversely, 16. 2% of respondents reported that they were more physically, sexually, or emotionally aggressive themselves toward an intimate partner, compared to their behavior before the onset of the pandemic. Having an intimate partner and staying at home more than usual during the pandemic were protective factors for both cyberabuse and sexual aggression victimization. Respondent age, education, and race and ethnicity were not associated with increased victimization or perpetration of cyberabuse or sexual aggression. However, women reported lower odds of increased sexual aggression perpetration than men. These findings improve understanding of changes to interpersonal abuse and associated risk factors during a period of social disruption.

Concepts Keywords
Cyberabuse anything related to
Increased dating violence
November domestic violence
Pandemic internet and abuse
Women sexual harassment
violence exposure


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH Violence
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
disease MESH domestic violence

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