Should I Stay or Should I Go? Cognitive and Relationship Factors Associated with the Likelihood of Relationship Dissolution among Couples Experiencing Mild to Moderate Physical and Psychological Common Couple Violence
Curtis, David Stuart
Epstein, Norman B
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There has been insufficient attention given to mild to moderate bi-directional intimate partner violence in the literature. Using a secondary dataset in which strict exclusion criteria decreased the likelihood of cases of partner battering being included, this study investigated the association between mild to moderate intimate psychological and physical aggression and steps taken by the recipient to leave an intimate relationship among a sample of 251 couples who sought therapy at a University-based clinic. Based on the relative costs and benefits model, the degree to which relationship satisfaction mediated the association between aggression received and steps taken to leave was tested. The moderating effects of social support from friends and attributions blaming the partner for relationship problems also were investigated. Findings indicated that psychological aggression was a particularly significant predictor of steps being taken to leave by the recipient, and that relationship satisfaction mediated this association, especially for males.