DescriptionThe current study sought to explore the relationships between sense of entitlement, gender, and abusive behaviors among dating relationships in the emerging adulthood phase. The existing literature around abusive behaviors suggests differences in patterns, motivations, and use of abusive behaviors by gender (Konrath, Bushman, & Campbell, 2006; Luthra & Gidycz, 2006; Stark, 2009; Straus, 2004). Self-Salience Theory provides a foundation for understanding the interaction of gender and abusive behaviors, while also suggesting that sense of entitlement (or the act of privileging oneself over a partner) is a key component in motivation for abusive behaviors (Rosenfield, Vertefeuille, & McAlpine, 2000). The current study examined gender differences in entitlement and abuse and investigated whether sense of entitlement is a good explanatory variable for abusive behavior. Data were collected from the study body of a private university in New Jersey and the subsample of 18-25 year olds in dating relationships was used for the analysis. The survey was conducted during the 2011-2012 school year and collected responses anonymously online. Bivariate and multivariate analyses did not find significant differences in rates of abuse by gender, but did find that sense of entitlement is a better predictor of men’s behavior than women’s behavior. Sense of entitlement explains a small amount of the variance for abusive behavior in the sample that included men and women; it explained little to no variance in the women’s subsample while explaining a much greater amount of the variance in the men’s subsample. Hierarchical regression determined that the interaction between gender and sense of entitlement is an important factor in explaining abusive behavior. The following dissertation reviews the relevant literature, including a background on dating violence, abusive behaviors, entitlement, theory, and current debates over gender in the dating violence literature. The dissertation will provide an in-depth review of data collection methods and the statistical analyses used to explore the relationships between gender, sense of entitlement, and abuse. The final chapter reviews the results, implications, limitations, and conclusions of the study.