Stress, attachment and partner violence in same-sex relationships

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Violence, Attachment, Same-sex couples, Mediation model, Interpersonal relationships, Partner violence, Stressors


Attachment theory has been utilized in studies of relationship violence with heterosexual samples but not with same-sex samples. The purpose of this exploratory study was to compare two nested models of perpetration of violence derived from literature using structural equation modeling procedures. The sample for this study (N = 87) consisted of 46 gay men and 41 lesbians who had recently been in a same-sex intimate relationship, who had perpetrated at least one act of violence within the past year, and who reported experiencing relationship distress. Participants completed measures of stress, attachment, and violence. Results suggested that the relationships among stress, attachment, and violence are best explained by a mediation model, i.e., the relationship between perceived stress and the perpetration of violence was mediated by an insecure attachment style. A brief discussion and implications for future researchers are included.