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Factors Predicting Relationship Satisfaction, Investment, and Commitment When Women Report High Prevalence of Psychological Abuse

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Abstract

Relationship satisfaction, investment, and commitment in women experiencing extensive psychological abuse were examined to determine predictive factors. Participants were the top quartile of a national sample of women in conflictual relationships (N = 81) experiencing psychological maltreatment. Relationship satisfaction, investment, and commitment were each used as criterion variables with conceptually related factors as the predictors (e.g., reactions to the psychological abuse; mental health indicators; personality variables; perceived harm; problematic relationship schemas; response styles; demographics). These relationship markers were differentially predicted within this group of women. Three independent clusters of women, based on patterns of satisfaction, investment, and commitment scores, were compared regarding physical abuse, reactions to psychological abuse, ratings of perceived harm, endorsement of relationship schemas, psychological distress variables, and personality variables. The cluster of women reporting higher satisfaction, investment, and commitment in these seemingly aversive relationships frequently demonstrated differences from the other two clusters. Implications for clinical applications are discussed.

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Correspondence to Diane R. Follingstad.

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Follingstad, D.R., Rogers, M.J. & Duvall, J.L. Factors Predicting Relationship Satisfaction, Investment, and Commitment When Women Report High Prevalence of Psychological Abuse. J Fam Viol 27, 257–273 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-012-9422-8

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