I Get No Respect: The Relationship Between Betrayal Trauma and Romantic Relationship Functioning

Jesse Owen*, Kelley Quirk, Megan Manthos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The current study explored the association among young adults' (N = 86) experiences of betrayal traumas (interpersonal trauma perpetrated by someone close) prior to age 18, psychological well-being, attachment styles, and romantic relationship function (i.e., dedication, relationship adjustment, and perceived partner respect). Based on betrayal trauma theory, we posited that participants' reports of betrayal traumas would be negatively related to their perceptions of respect from their partner but would not relate to their perceptions of relationship adjustment or dedication. Furthermore, we expected that the relationship between betrayal traumas and respect would be mediated by participants' attachment style and psychological well-being. Results identified a negative association between betrayal traumas and psychological well-being and a positive association between betrayal trauma and anxious and avoidant attachment. Betrayal traumas were also shown to be negatively related to partner respect and not significantly associated with dedication and relationship adjustment. Anxious attachment and psychological well-being were significant mediators for the relationship between betrayal traumas and perceived respect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-189
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • attachment
  • betrayal trauma theory
  • dedication
  • interpersonal trauma
  • psychological well-being
  • relationship adjustment
  • respect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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