Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Wyndol C. Furman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen Shirk

Third Advisor

Anne P. DePrince

Fourth Advisor

Martha Wadsworth

Fifth Advisor

Jenny Cornish


Attachment, Commitment, Dating violence, Depression, Post-traumatic stress, Rejection sensitivity


Dating aggression is common among emerging adults, and women who experience aggression from a dating partner are at risk for elevated depression and posttraumatic stress (Dutton et al., 2006). Although some women end their relationships as a result of aggression, other women remain committed to their partner, and aggression tends to escalate over time. The current study explored the role that depression and posttraumatic stress play in ending aggressive dating relationships as well as changes in these symptoms after ending such a relationship. The current study also sought to identify factors predictive of individual differences in emerging adults' commitment to their aggressive dating relationships. A sample of 148 emerging adult women currently in an aggressive dating relationship completed questionnaires about themselves and their relationship; measures of rejection sensitivity, self-worth, and romantic relational style were included as predictors of the Investment Model variables (e.g., investment, satisfaction, quality of alternatives, and commitment; Rusbult, 1980). Two assessments were completed six months apart. Neither depression nor posttraumatic stress predicted ending an aggressive relationship. However, ending an aggressive relationship was associated with experiencing less physical aggression, which mediated reductions in posttraumatic stress. A more avoidant romantic style indirectly predicted commitment through relationship satisfaction and investment. Both commitment and rejection sensitivity significantly predicted continuing an aggressive relationship six months later.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Brennan J. Young


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

77 p.


Animal Behavior, Psychology