Much of the literature regarding relational aggression in romantic relationships has focused on the behaviors and outcomes of the actor and victim independently. Additionally, the relationships studied usually cover emerging adult samples, and rarely expand to long-term committed relationships, such as cohabiting or married couples. In this paper I sought to determine if relationally aggressive behaviors in long-term committed relationships over time resulted as a function of individual predictors (e.g. neuroticism), or as a process of couple interactions (e.g. couple attachment); and how these traits directly and indirectly (through relational aggression) influenced relationship quality. An Actor Partner Independence Model (APIM) was run using 1,558 individuals from the RELATE study. Anxious attachment was the strongest predictor of relational aggression. For both men and women, participating in relationally aggressive behaviors had a direct influence on their own relationship quality. Anxiously attached partners were more likely to be relationally aggressive and to have more relationally aggressive partners. Female, as well as male, relational aggression partially mediated the link between male and female anxious attachment, and female relationship quality. For men, only their own relational aggression mediated the link between male and female anxious attachment, and their own relationship quality.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Eliason, Sarah Annis, "The Mediating Role of Relational Aggression Between Neuroticism and Couple Attachment and Relationship Quality in Long-Term Committed Relationships" (2017). All Theses and Dissertations. 6698.
relational aggression, adult attachment, neuroticism