Psychological victimization as a risk factor for the developmental course of marriage

Jeung Eun Yoon*, Erika Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The relative influences of psychological versus physical aggression on marital distress and dissolution were investigated in 102 community couples using growth curve modeling techniques. Both spouses were assessed six times over the first 7 years of marriage. For both husbands and wives, psychological aggression was significantly more detrimental to marital satisfaction than physical aggression, and only husbands' psychological aggression predicted dissolution. Additionally, psychological aggression and marital satisfaction trajectories demonstrated bidirectional influences. Among subtypes of psychological aggression, restrictive engulfment (social isolation and control) was uniquely detrimental to husbands' marital satisfaction, whereas denigration (belittling) was particularly detrimental for wives. Recommendations are provided for ways of conducting more comprehensive and nuanced assessments of psychological aggression and for clarifying the relative and additive influences of psychological and physical aggression in normative relationships

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Abuse
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Physical aggression
  • Psychological aggression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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