Understanding the Context of Romantic Partner Relational Victimization: Links Between Relationship Satisfaction, Depressive Symptoms, and Alcohol-Related Problems

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine links across romantic partner relational victimization, depressive symptoms, and drinking problems during young adulthood. We were interested in evaluating depression as a mediator of the association between relational victimization by one’s romantic partner, drinking problems, and the conditional indirect effects of relationship satisfaction. Method: Study participants included 269 individuals aged 18 to 26 years (68% female, Mage = 22.78 years, SD = 4.70). They completed self-report measures online. Results: Mediation results indicated that depression significantly mediated the association between relational victimization and alcohol-related problems. Furthermore, tests of conditional indirect effects suggest that depression mediated the association between romantic partner relational victimization and alcohol-related problems among those who were lower in relationship satisfaction, but not among those who were higher in relationship satisfaction. Conclusions: Findings are discussed with attention to the developmental significance of romantic relationships during the transition to young adulthood. Specifically, the current findings add to the existing literature, which has suggested that both relationship aggression and depression are associated with problematic drinking.

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