The purpose of this study was to examine two different mediums through which verbal abuse occurs in romantic relationships among college students. Looking at face-to-face communication as well as communication via text messaging, the different types of verbal abuse (e.g., name-calling, blaming, criticisms, etc.) were measured. The participants of the study answered demographic questions as well as a series of questions that attempted to gauge the participants’ perception of their romantic relationship, of their sense of self, and of the nature of the communication that they receive from their romantic partners both face-to-face and via text messaging. The survey was sent out electronically through an email distribution technique that allowed the study to reach the entire College of Wooster student body. The findings revealed that blaming and criticisms were the most commonly reported form of aggressions but overall, verbal abuse does not occur more frequently through one medium over the other. One major implication of this study is that romantic partners should be aware and cautious of common characteristics that abusers tend to possess, as they can be predictive of abuse.

Keywords: romantic relationships, verbal abuse, texting


Johnson, Michelle


Communication Studies


Communication Technology and New Media | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication


Romantic relationships, verbal abuse, texting

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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