The Daily Social and Emotional Worlds of Adolescents Who Are Psychologically Maltreated by Their Romantic Partners

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine how partner psychological maltreatment is associated with depression, daily interpersonal experiences, and affect. Participants were 67 late adolescents (17- to 22-years-old). Each participant completed a survey followed by reporting affect, and interpersonal hassles and uplifts for seven consecutive days. Compared to those low in maltreatment, participants in the high maltreatment group reported more hassles with partners and friends, less uplifts with family, and more depressive symptoms. Multilevel modeling showed that adolescents in the high as compared to the low maltreatment group were more interpersonally sensitive (defined as greater affective reactions to day-to-day interpersonal hassles). Results reveal that psychological maltreatment by partners is an especially potent experience that occurs along with greater romantic hassles and more interpersonal sensitivity. The effects of maltreatment were also found to spill over into relationships with friends and families by either being associated with more hassles and greater reaction to hassles or fewer uplifts and less reaction to uplifts.

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