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A Dyadic Approach to Examine the Association between Intimate Partner Violence and Romantic Relationship Satisfaction
Hammet, Julia Friederike
Ulloa, Emilio C
Castaneda, Donna M
x, 30 pages : illustrations
This study examined the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and romantic relationship satisfaction in a sample of 100 heterosexual newlywed couples. IPV, defined as the physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse of an intimate partner, is a prevalent concern for couples in the United States. The negative association between IPV and relationship satisfaction has been widely examined in the academic literature. However, the inter-relatedness of the effects that individuals' behaviors may have on themselves (actor effects) as well as on their partners (partner effects) remains unclear. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to identify individual and relationship-level associations between IPV victimization and relationship satisfaction among newlyweds from their first to their third year of marriage. It was hypothesized that for both husbands and wives, higher levels of IPV victimization during the first year of marriage would be associated with a reduction in their own levels of relationship satisfaction (actor effects) and their partner's levels of relationship satisfaction (partner effects) during the third year of marriage. In addition, it was hypothesized that the association between IPV and relationship satisfaction would be stronger for female victimization due to the fact that the consequences that follow from male perpetration are more severe than those that follow from female perpetration. To examine these hypotheses, archival data from a two-wave marital satisfaction study was used. Partners' IPV victimization was assessed using the Aggression (AGG) subscale of the Marital Satisfaction Inventory-Revised (MSI-R) and relationship (dis)satisfaction was assessed using the Global Distress (GDS) subscale of the MSI-R. In order to statistically account for the effects that a partner has on an individual's outcome, the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used. The APIM estimates both actor and partner effects, allowing for the investigation of issues of mutual influence on an outcome variable through dyadic analysis. Overall, it was found that wives' levels of satisfaction were impacted by their own as well as by their partners' levels of IPV victimization. Interestingly, while wives' own levels of IPV victimization were associated with wives' decreased satisfaction, their husbands' levels of IPV victimization were associated with wives' increased satisfaction. When splitting the sample by ethnicity, compelling patterns emerged, showing that while among Mexican Americans, wives' IPV victimization was related to husbands' decreased satisfaction, among Caucasian Americans, wives' IPV victimization was related to husbands' increased satisfaction. These results elucidate the role that gender and ethnicity may play in romantic relationships marked by aggression. More importantly, knowing about the mutual influence that violent partners have on one another and taking into account these effects when developing treatment plans might help researchers and practitioners to come up with the most effective interventions possible. Thus, the findings of the present study might be useful for the development of individual as well as couple-based interventions for IPV and for the development of differing treatment plans for male versus female victims of IPV as well as for Caucasian versus Mexican Americans.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 23-26)
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2015
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