Childhood Abuse and Positive and Negative Relationship Quality in Women: The Role of Depression

Document Type


Publication Date



Child and Family Studies


Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. published by Cambridge University Press. The interpersonal nature of childhood abuse has led researchers to examine how abuse in childhood is associated with the quality of adult women's romantic relationships. Depression is one pathway by which childhood abuse may be associated with relationship quality. The current study considers whether childhood abuse is linked to positive and negative relationship quality through depressive symptoms. Data were obtained from women participating in the Longitudinal Study of Childhood Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN; N = 544) and were analysed using structural equation modelling. Results indicate a significant indirect effect from childhood abuse to both positive and negative quality through women's depressive symptoms. The indirect effect from abuse to negative relationship quality through depression was significantly larger than positive relationship quality. These results suggest that childhood abuse and subsequent depressive symptoms has a twofold effect on women's romantic relationships.

Publication Title

Journal of Relationships Research

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