This study examined the relationship between self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse, relationship quality, possible gender differences, and clinical implications. Three hundred thirty eight women and 296 men who sought services at a university mental health clinic in the northeast region of the United States completed a 30-minute self-report assessment questionnaire before their first therapy session. Among the items in the questionnaire were measures of childhood physical abuse and sexual abuse, relationship stability, problems areas in the relationship, and other demographic information. Results from structural equation modeling indicated that childhood physical abuse influenced relationship quality for both men and women while childhood sexual abuse did not have a significant impact on relationship quality for either gender. The results of the study indicate that there may be more gender similarities than differences in experiences of childhood abuse and relationship quality than previous research suggests. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
LeBaron, Carly D., "Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse and Their Effects on Adult Romantic Relationship Quality: Gender Differences and Clinical Implications" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2189.
childhood abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, marital quality