Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Ruth (Chu-Lien) Chao, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Andrea Pusavat

Third Advisor

Kathy Green

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Cornish


Emotional abuse, Interpersonal violence, Intimate partner violence, Partner psychological aggression, Psychological maltreatment, Verbal aggression


Partner psychological aggression has been shown to be positively correlated with psychological distress and low self-esteem for women. This study adds to the existing literature by including research on men since very little research had been done on the effects of partner psychological aggression and the self-esteem of men. However, there were a limited number of men who participated in this study and who endorsed experiencing partner psychological aggression. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted with data from 153 males and females (N = 153) from national colleges and community samples to explore the relationship amongst partner psychological aggression, psychological distress as measured by depression and PTSD, self-esteem, and self-compassion. In this study, it was hypothesized that partner psychological aggression could predict psychological distress, as specifically measured by depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results concluded that partner psychological aggression could predict depression but not PTSD for women and it was not predictive of psychological distress for men. Self-esteem and self-compassion were hypothesized and found to be significantly negatively correlated with psychological distress and believed to buffer against the impact of psychological distress. Looking more closely, it was found that self-esteem was not predictive of depression for men and self-compassion was not predictive of PTSD for men. Furthermore, it was hypothesized and found that individuals who experienced partner psychological aggression and also endorsed lower levels of self-esteem and self-compassion were more likely to also exhibit symptoms of depression and PTSD. Additional clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are also included.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Galana Tennille Chookolingo


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

179 p.


Counseling Psychology, Mental Health, Psychology