Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Wyndol C. Furman, Ph.D.


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.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Brennan J. Young

File size

77 p.

File format





Animal Behavior, Psychology