Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Stephens

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa A. Coscia


Women between the ages of 18-24 experience intimate partner violence at a higher rate than any other group. Physical violence can be easily identified as an unacceptable practice. However, recognizing different aspects of abusive behavior is not as easy to identify. The purpose of the case study was to examine how college-aged women perceive which behaviors were healthy and unhealthy in a romantic relationship and how reality TV influenced their views. The two central themes of the study were healthy relationship behaviors and unhealthy relationship behaviors. The subcategories for healthy relationship behaviors were communication, love, and support. The subcategories for unhealthy relationship behaviors were aggression, lying/dishonesty, and manipulation/gaslighting. Results of the study indicated that college-aged women take social cues from the reality TV programming they watch. Findings suggested that consistent exposure to relationship-based reality TV shows directly influenced college-aged women’s perceptions of romantic relationship behaviors.