Predictors of Revictimization in Online Dating

Fatemeh Fereidooni*, Judith K. Daniels, Miriam Lommen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction. While a significant association between childhood maltreatment and sexual victimization in adulthood has been established in previous research, it is unknown whether this also applies to the context of online dating. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether revictimization is common in online users and which mechanisms mediate this risk

Method. The participants were 413 heterosexual women aged between 18 and 35 who used mobile dating applications in the year before the assessment. The participants reported information on using mobile dating applications, motives for engaging in casual sex, protective dating strategies and general motives for online dating.

Results. Childhood maltreatment severity was positively related to both cyber and in-person sexual victimization severity. Motives related to regulating negative affect and self-esteem mediated the relationship between childhood maltreatment severity and in-person sexual victimization severity in adulthood. Furthermore, those motives moderated the association between cyber and in-person sexual victimization. The effect of cyber victimization on in-person
sexual victimization was stronger at higher levels of affect/self-esteem regulatory sex motives compared to lower levels. The affect/self-esteem regulatory sex motives were not related to protective dating strategies.

Discussion. The results of the study imply that a history of childhood maltreatment is a risk
factor for sexual victimization in adulthood among young heterosexual women who use online
dating. One of the factors linking these variables in this population might be affect/self-esteem
regulatory sex motives. Future studies should aim at replicating these associations prospectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)NP23057-NP23074
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022

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