Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 483–493 | Cite as

Insecure Attachment Mediates Effects of Partners’ Emotional Abuse and Violence on Women’s Relationship Quality

Original article


Men’s emotional abuse and violence have a broad and pervasive impact on women that may include long-term effects on women’s attachment and relationship quality. In this longitudinal study, women’s Wave 6 ratings of their insecure attachment were hypothesized to mediate the relationship between partners’ Wave 5 abuse (emotional and physical) and Wave 6 relationship quality, with differences in associations by women’s Wave 5 self-classification as secure or insecure. Mediation was tested with data from a sample of 574 African American, Euro-American, and Mexican American community women who had completed at least three waves of a six wave study. Differences occurred in the final structural equation models by women’s Wave 5 attachment style, with direct paths from emotional abuse to insecure attachment and from violence to relationship quality for both groups, but direct effects of violence on relationship quality only for insecurely attached women.


Women’s relationships Ethnicity Relationship dissolution Partner violence SEM 



This study was funded by grant R49/CCR610508 from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice awarded to Linda L. Marshall. This article was also made possible by grant 2001-WT-BX-0504 from NIJ awarded to Marshall and the author. These agencies are not responsible for the results. Portions of this study were from the author’s dissertation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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