Effect of “coupling”.
As we know, nowadays “couple” had become a trend among students or teenagers in most
universities especially in well-known university. “Couple” in Malaysia is describing as teenagers
in different genders are in love and dating and also goes out together. Previously, we rarely saw
this situation among the college students or university students. It only happens at the big
university in this world for example in United States. But nowadays, this situation happens at
almost university especially in Malaysia. We can see this situation anywhere although at villages
and it becomes a problem when this “coupling” brings affects to the university and the student or
teenager themselves. Furthermore all university faces the same problems especially in University
Malaysia Pahang. We can see the “couple” always meet together especially at night in the
cafeteria and having some dinner together and going out during weekend together. Therefore, a
research will be conducted by us in University Malaysia Pahang with 60 participants from the
Computer Science and Networking course second year student of Faculty of Science Computer
and Software Engineering. We will contribute a set of questionnaire to the participants to
investigate our research.
The main objective of this research is to study the reasons why university students choose to
have “coupled” during their study year. Other objective is to investigate the affect from this
“couple” activity. In addition, we also study about their expectations on their partner for their
future marriage plan. In my research objective, I have to research about the affect of “couple”
activity or it is also called as “puppy love”. My research question is “What are the effects from
this “couple” activity?”. To found out the resource about my research objective, I had found four
different articles about the effects of “couple” among students at Google Scholar.
According to the first article (Fincham, Owen, Rhoades & Stanley 2008) from their discussion,
they suggest that woman will feel more upset than men when hooking up together. Furthermore,
they also found that many women will feel more upset than men after hooking up or “dating”
together (as cited in Glenn & Marquardt, 2001). They state that woman will tend more risk of
feeling upset about their relationship. Moreover, this statement also similar as the second article
(Capaldi & Kim, 2007). They state that the couple will have lowers relationship satisfaction.
Although their article is about cohabiting couple, we also can assume that in our situation
because this situation also can happen in big city and big university such as at Kuala Lumpur. As
we know, our university also will face the same problem in the future as we have our main
university that is located at the Pekan, Pahang. They found that married couples are different
with cohabiting couples in many aspects and cohabiting couples seem had encountered many
problems than married couple.
The “couple” also may feel hurt and confuse about their relationship. As in the first article
(Fincham , Owen, Rhoades & Stanley 2008) state that the “couple” will feel hurt after going out
or dating together and they feel confuse about their future relationship with their partner. In the
other article (Jezl, Molidor, Psy.D. & Wright 1996) according to the previous study, also agree
that the “couple” will feel confuse, anxiety and tension in their relationship. They cannot
guarantee how far their relationship will last. They also not sure about their partner plan in the
future. They confuse about their partner intention on their relationship whether it is just for fun
or they will end it with marriage. This proves that this activity or “coupling” bring negative
effects on students or teenagers lifestyles. This effect will make their head mixed with all
feelings and they cannot think normally about their future life. This will makes their attitude
more complicated. This will be a big problem for the university when their attitude cannot be
control anymore especially for the students that stay outside hostel.
“Couple” also can affect the students’ psychological well-being. In the first article (Fincham,
Owen, Rhoades & Stanley 2008) state that the students will have lower psychological well-
being. They feel regret after dating and this will makes them more to depressive symptom. They
did not benefit their mental health mannerly and this will lead them to the lower psychological
well-being. This statement is similar as statement in an article (Jezl, Molidor, Psy.D. & Wright
1996) state that the student will have psychological maltreatment. Although this article about 14
years ago, but the result is the same as the latest research. That means that this activity or
“couple” had this problem. They found that the levels of women and men that will experience
this psychological maltreatment are nearly the same. They also will face psychological crippling.
Furthermore, they also found that the psychological maltreatment and physical abuse are related
in the teenage relationship. In addition, in the other article, Myra J. Hird (2000) state that the
“couple” will experience psychological aggression that will cause them having highly stressful
and damaging (as cited in Pagelow, 1981). The most frequent was name-calling. Girls are
subjected to name-calling rather than boys and the most word that they used are “slag”, “tart”
and “bit” which referred to “promiscuous” or “frigid” sexual behavior.
Next, “couple” also will affect students’ education. In the first article (Fincham, Owen, Rhoades
& Stanley 2008) state that “couple” will affect students’ academic or education and also their
social functioning. In addition, they found that one of the factor from the many, “couple” lead to
the findings that 90% of students report feeling stressed while in college and nearly 40% students
being so distressed in college that will disturb their academic and social functioning (as cited in
American College Health Association, 2007; Owen & Rodolfa, in press). Moreover, this effect
also mention in the article (Jezl, Molidor, Psy.D. & Wright 1996) that the students especially
male students did not cooperate in their study. They also did not answer the questionnaires
according their true experience on “couple”. This shows that when the students start to “couple”,
they will have a problem with their study. Their reputation of study will be low because they
spent much more time with their partner rather than studying.
Physical aggression is one of the effects of “couple”. In the Myra J. Hird (2000) article, she
mentioned that the “couple” will experience the physical aggression in their relationship.
Physical acts such as pushing, grabbing or shoving, slapping, kicking, biting and also hitting with
a fist are common and “normal” in “couple” relationship. Most of the girls reported that they had
been hit by their boyfriend. This will lead to the serious injured and harm the girl if we do not
take a serious action about it. Furthermore, in the other article (Jezl, Molidor, Psy.D. & Wright
1996), they also discovered that the “couple” will experience physical violence. It stated that
13.4% of the “couples” remain in the physical violence in their relationships. They also found
that girl was highly percentage that remains in the physical violence in their relationship rather
than men. In addition, they also mentioned that the “couple” will experience physical aggression
at some. As I had mentioned above, the psychological aggression is related with the physical
aggression. This means that the higher psychological aggression that the “couple” experience,
the higher physical aggression that happens to them.
Next, sexual aggression is also one of the effects of “couple”. In the Myra J. Hird (2000) article,
she stated that majority the girls mentioned that they were being pressured or forced by their
partner to engage in some of sexual activity. The most sexual activity that the girls hate is
unwanted touching by their partner or boyfriend. This could happen mostly when they date or in
social events such as in party. This statement is same as statement (Jezl, Molidor, Psy.D. &
Wright 1996) that “couples” bring them to the sexual aggression or sexual abuse. They found
that percentage of female that had experienced sexual abuse or aggression is consistent with the
findings in the dating violence literature. But, the percentage of male that experienced this
situation is higher than the previous dating violence literature, Molidor and Tolman (1995) that
discovered only one man that having sexual aggression. However, the current study found that
12% of male had reported of experience sexual aggression or sexual abuse.
Previous researches show that “couple” or “puppy love” among students in the university has
badly or negative affects to them. As we discuss earlier, “couple” especially girls will feel upset
after dating or going out together with their partner and they also will experience lower
relationship satisfaction. In addition, the “couple” also feels hurt after hooking up together and
confuse about their relationship with her/his partner. They also did not know about their future
plan with their partner whether their relation is just for fun or will lead them to marriage. The
other effect of “couple” is lower psychological well-being. The “couple” feels regret after dating
together because they did not satisfied with their partner. Moreover, “puppy love” also
interferences with the students’ academic and social functioning. They could not focus on their
study because they pay more attention to their partner rather than studying. This situation always
happens at the male students rather than female students. Next, the “couple” will experience
physical aggression. Girls have the higher percentage in experience physical aggression rather
than men. This situation will lead them to the bad consequences and also injured. This should not
be happen in this era. After that, sexual aggression is also one of the effects of “puppy love”.
This becomes a serious problem nowadays because it can lead to the sexual abuse and also
pregnancy among the girls’ students before they married. Girls have more percentage of having
or experience sexual aggression rather than men. They are forced to do sexual activity that they
do not like or hate such as sexual touching. According to the previous researches, we can
conclude that “couple” has the negative effects to the students and we must take an action to
encounter this problem before it becomes worst. This will need the future study to investigate
further about this issue.
David R. Jezl,Psy.D., Cristian E. Molidor, Ph.D, and Tracy L. Wright (1996), Physical, Sexual
and Psychological Abuse in High School Dating Relationship: Prevalence Rates and Self-Esteem
Hyoun K. Kim and Deborah M. Capaldi (2007), Generalizability Issues in Observational Studies
of Couples: Sample Characteristic and Task Design, J Marriage Fam. 2007 February; 69(1):86-
Jesse J. Owen and Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley and Frank D. Fincham (2008),
“Hooking Up” Among College Students: Demographic and Psychosocial Correlates, Arch Sex
Behav (2010) 39:653-663.
Myra J. Hird (2000), An Empirical study of adolescent dating aggression in the U.K., Journal of
Adolescence 2000, 23, 69-78.