Emotional abuse and its unique ecological correlates among military personnel and spouses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Identify unique correlates of clinically significant emotional abuse (CS-EA) in a large representative U.S. sample of men and women. Method: Active duty members of the U.S. Air Force in relationships (N = 42,744) and civilian spouses (N = 17,266) from 82 bases worldwide completed an anonymous online survey on CS-EA, individual, family, community, and workplace risk factors. Results: Relationship dissatisfaction, poor self-efficacy, financial stress, and alcohol problems were among the strongest correlates of emotional abuse among the 21 factors examined. In addition, community factors such as support from neighbors and community cohesion independently related to mena's CS-EA, whereas workplace factors were uniquely related to victimization among active duty and civilian women. The strength of bivariate associations with CS-EA for several family, workplace, and community factors differed by military/civilian status, gender, and marital status, but overall ecological models replicated across gender. Conclusions: Although many workplace and community factors were related to CS-EA bivariately, only a select few were related after accounting for individual and family factors. CS-EA is an understudied but important public health problem and the current study helps to identify key correlates of CS-EA that can help inform prevention and treatment efforts aimed at reducing partner violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-142
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • marriage
  • psychological abuse
  • socioecological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology


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