Post-traumatic stress theory applied to the experience of female incestuous childhood sexual abuse survivors (ICSA) suggests that the trauma may result in negative psychological consequences affecting relationships in adulthood. This study sought to explore the relational consequences of ICSA, specifically focusing on conflict resolution styles (CRS), relationship satisfaction, and relationship stability. This research used data from the RELATionship Evaluation questionnaire. Participants included 487 heterosexual couples in which only the female partner experienced ICSA compared to a comparison group of 1827 couples in which neither partner experienced ICSA. Analyses tested for differences in the frequencies of reported CRS (Gottman 1994) for ICSA and non-ICSA groups. A path analysis also explored the mediating effects of CRS on the relationship between ICSA, and self and partner reported relationship satisfaction and stability. Significant differences in the reports of types of CRS were found for ICSA versus non-ICSA groups. Path analysis showed that although ICSA and CRS were negatively related to relationship satisfaction and stability, the mediating effects of CRS types were not found. Ways clinicians may want to focus on CRS when treating these types of couples reporting low relationship satisfaction are discussed.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sloan, Ashlee Elizabeth, "Conflict Resolution Styles as Mediators of Female Childhood Sexual Abuse Experience and Couple Relationship Satisfaction and Stability in Adulthood" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 3715.
Gottman conflict styles, childhood sexual abuse, relationship satisfaction