Factors Mediating and Moderating the Relation Between Abuse and Commitment



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The present study seeks to extend the current body of literature regarding the effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) on a victim’s commitment to a relationship. Drawing upon the Investment Model (Rusbult, 1980) and implicit relationship beliefs (Knee, 1998), the current study tested mediators and moderators between the frequency of physical and psychological abuse and victims’ level of commitment in a community sample of battered women. Relationship satisfaction was hypothesized to mediate the relation between abuse and commitment. Implicit relationship beliefs, specifically destiny and growth beliefs, were hypothesized to moderate the relation between abuse and commitment. Correlations showed that commitment was negatively correlated with physical and psychological abuse. Relationship satisfaction was positively correlated with commitment and negatively correlated with physical and psychological abuse. Destiny and growth beliefs were not significantly correlated with each other or any of the other variables. Regression analyses showed that relationship satisfaction fully mediated the relation between abuse and commitment for both physical and psychological abuse. Multiple regression analyses revealed no significant moderating effect of destiny or growth belief. From a clinical perspective, these results suggest that perhaps making victims aware of the effect abuse has on their relationship satisfaction may be a beneficial first step in increasing their awareness of the pathological nature of abusive relationships.



Intimate partner violence, Implicit Relationship Beliefs, Domestic violence