One in Four…

Raising awareness about issues related to domestic & dating violence

Healthy Relationships as defined by UNC Chapel Hill Students July 8, 2010

In the fall of 2009, three students in a UNC Chapel Hill APPLES course “Leadership and Violence Prevention” taught by Dr. Bob Pleasants designed a twelve question survey administered throughout the 2009-2010 school year to discover how UNC Chapel Hill students felt about relationships on campus.

The APPLES students administered the survey to 540 students.  Of these 201 were single, 269 were in relationships and 70 did not state their relationship status.

Students described the most valued characteristics of healthy relationships as:





-Having Continuance in friends and other interests

-Having No Abuse of any kind


While both genders agreed that communication and respect were important characteristics, women respondents valued compromise more than male respondents who valued a balance between the relationship and other interests most.

Students described unhealthy relationships as:



Abusive (Physically, Emotionally, Verbally, and Sexually)

Having poor communication

Having no continuance in friends and other interests









Of the 540 responses given 143 students said that they had dated someone who made them feel isolated from friends, family or extra-curriculars/ work.

454 students out of 540 said that they or someone they knew had been in an unhealthy relationship.  These unhealthy relationships had some or all of the qualities listed above.

While students responded that they majority of them knew and individual or had themselves been in an unhealthy relationship at one time, the majority of their peers (411/540) were in healthy relationships and only 81 respondents answered they found the majority of their peers in unhealthy relationships.

As a UNC Chapel Hill student I found it surprising that most students responded by saying they felt that the majority of their peers were in healthy relationships.  It seems to me most dating activity on campus seems largely supplemented by substance abuse and unsafe sexual practices.

What do you think? The individuals in relationships who responded to the survey could only provide their perspectives about on the relationship, rather than receiving the input of both partners  which I felt skewed the accuracy of the results. Do you agree with the findings of this survey? What is your experience in relationships on college campuses? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!


One Response to “Healthy Relationships as defined by UNC Chapel Hill Students”

  1. Caroline C. Says:

    I’m not on a college campus. Rather, I’ve been in an unhealthy marriage fo 25 years. this marriage is lacking in all the valued qualities you describe and possesses all of the unhealthy characteristics you describe. I don’t believe we started out this way. But when and why did things begin to change, I can’t say. I can say that left unchanged, once one or more of the unhealthy characteristics slip in, many more join it quite quickly! I wish your observations could be discussed by all young people and revisited by them throughout their lives. Taking care of your relationships or not can mean the difference between a happy life and a miserable and links one.

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