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Abstract

Although existing research suggests that certain childhood traumas such as childhood sexual abuse are associated with interpersonal (e.g., marital) difficulties in adulthood, there has been limited research on interpersonal sequelae of other types of traumas. In addition, the association between childhood traumas and interpersonal outcomes has often been limited to a particular outcome such as divorce, and existing studies have rarely controlled for the co-occurrence of other traumas when evaluating interpersonal outcomes. The current study sought to evaluate the associations between 7 childhood traumas and 2 marital outcomes—marital disruption (i.e., divorce and separation) and marital satisfaction—in a large, national probability sample. Results from univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that (a) probability of marital disruption was higher among people who during childhood had experienced physical abuse, rape, or serious physical attack or assault; and (b) current marital satisfaction was lower among people who during childhood had experienced rape or sexual molestation. Results support the importance of childhood traumas in predicting 2 important marital outcomes.