USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Does Training and Coursework in Domestic Violence Affect Students' Perceptions of Behaviors as Domestic Violence?

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Shelly M. Wagers

Document Type


Publication Date



0886-6708 (print); 1945-7073 (online)


Some argue that training and/or coursework in domestic violence (DV) could impact the beliefs criminal justice (CJ) majors have about DV and, in turn, affect their future job performance in cases involving victims of DV. This study examined the association of previous education and training in DV on the beliefs college students hold about what behaviors qualify as DV. Further, it examined the association between CJ versus non-CJ majors on beliefs about DV behaviors. Results indicated prior education on DV, but not training outside of coursework, was associated with differences in students' beliefs about acts of sexual aggression qualifying as DV. Education and training on DV were not significantly related to differences in beliefs about acts of physical or verbal/emotional aggression being DV. Moreover, CJ majors are less likely to believe that verbal/emotional aggression was an act of DV, compared to non-CJ majors. Implications of these findings for policy and educational efforts impacting CJ majors are discussed.


Springer Publishing Company