Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 467–477 | Cite as

Secure Base Narrative Representations and Intimate Partner Violence: a Dyadic Perspective

  • Gunnur Karakurt
  • Kristin E. Silver
  • Margaret K. Keiley
Original Article


This study aimed to understand the relationship between secure base phenomena and dating violence among couples. Within a relationship, a secure base can be defined as a balancing act of proximity-seeking and exploration at various times and contexts with the assurance of a caregiver’s availability and responsiveness in emotionally distressing situations. Participants were 87 heterosexual couples. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model was used to examine the relationship between each partner’s scores on secure base representational knowledge and intimate partner violence. Findings demonstrated that women’s secure base representational knowledge had a significant direct negative effect on the victimization of both men and women, while men’s secure base representational knowledge did not have any significant partner or actor effects. Therefore, findings suggest that women with insecure attachments may be more vulnerable to being both the victims and the perpetrators of aggressive behavior. Research and clinical implications are discussed.


Secure base Narrative representations Attachment theory Intimate partner violence Relationship abuse 



This project was supported in part by NIH/NCRR CTSA KL2TR000440. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gunnur Karakurt, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Case Western Reserve University. Cleveland, OH 44106. E-mail:


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunnur Karakurt
    • 1
  • Kristin E. Silver
    • 2
  • Margaret K. Keiley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine and Community HealthCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AkronAkronUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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