Preparation of this article was supported by grant 54732 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The National Comorbidity Survey was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (grants R01 MH/DA46376 and R01 MH49098), the National Institute of Drug Abuse (through a supplement to R01 MH/DA46376), and the W. T. Grant Foundation (grant 90135190).
Childhood trauma and marital outcomes in adulthood
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 375–386, December 2006
How to Cite
WHISMAN, M. A. (2006), Childhood trauma and marital outcomes in adulthood. Personal Relationships, 13: 375–386. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2006.00124.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
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.