Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Jesse Owen

Second Advisor

Jennifer Gafford

Third Advisor

Garrett Roberts

Fourth Advisor

Ryan Gildersleeve


Meta-analysis, Relationships, Trauma


The effects of trauma can be wide reaching and long lasting. In effort to create more comprehensive theories for the effects of trauma, there is a focus on the association between trauma and intimate relationships. For example, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; APA 2013) is associated with deficiencies in romantic relationship satisfaction through an increase in maladaptive communication patterns, relationship instability and intimate partner violence. Furthermore, relationship satisfaction can predict decreases in an individual reliving the trauma, emotional numbness and irritability.

The focus in this study is on interpersonal trauma. This encompasses trauma enacted from one (or more) individual(s) onto another (e.g., sexual assault, abuse, physical assault, and war), throughout the course of the life span, that occur outside of the romantic dyad. It is hypothesized that traumas caused by another human or humans will have a greater impact on other interpersonal functioning, such as romantic relationships compared to those caused by forces of nature.

A literature search of all relevant articles and dissertations was completed. After systematic reviews, coding each abstract, then article, seventy-seven articles were included in the final analysis. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis was the program used to analyze the results of this meta-analysis. A statistically significant result was found, with more severe trauma symptoms have a greater negative impact on romantic relationship functioning. Those with military backgrounds had a greater negative outcome when compared to those with civilian backgrounds. Which relationship measure was used and which trauma measure was used also yielded significant results.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Geneva Polser


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

108 p.


Counseling psychology