The mediating and moderating effects of women's attachment style on interrelationships among emotional abuse, physical aggression and relational stability.
Description: This purpose of this study was to combine two bodies of literature on relationships, attachment and violence. Given the impact of men's physical aggression and emotional abuse on women, it is likely that these behaviors would also affect attachment. A model proposing that women's attachment style mediated and moderated the relationship between partners' physical and emotional abuse and the stability of women's relationships was tested. Archival data were used from two waves of interviews with a sample of lowincome, ethnically diverse community women. Most (89%) of the initial 835 participants of Project HOW: Health Outcomes of Women completed at least one additional interview providing information on the status of their initial relationships. Of these women, 39% were African American, 30% were Euro-American, and 31% were Mexican American. The effects of men's psychological abuse and physical violence on women's attachment style were tested with regression analyses. The interrelationships between partners' abuse, attachment and relational stability were tested with SEM. Attachment style was expected to moderate the associations among variables and mediate the impact of partners' negative behavior on relational stability. In regression analyses, partners' psychological abuse predicted avoidant and anxious, but not secure attachment ratings. Violence, although significant, explained less variance than psychological abuse for insecure attachment ratings. SEM indicated Physical Aggression was not a significant predictor of Attachment Rating in any group. Moderation was not found. There were no differences between attachment groups. Therefore, attachment was tested in the sample as a mediator. As in analyses for each group, the path from Physical Aggression to Attachment Rating was not significant. In the final model, Emotional Abuse predicted Physical Aggression and Attachment Rating mediated the effect of Emotional Abuse on Relational Stability. Specifically, Emotional Abuse increased (insecure) Attachment Rating, which decreased Relational Stability. Overall, previous research in the violence literature was ...
Date: December 2001
Creator: Weston, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries