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Journal Article


Dailey RM, Hazlett AD, Brass-Rosenfield C. J. Interpers. Violence 2022; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2022, SAGE Publishing)






Previous research has established a link between aggression and relationship cycling (i.e., multiple breakups and renewals with the same romantic partner). Couples who have experienced breakups and renewals are up to twice as likely to have experienced psychological and physical aggression in their relationships. Partners who return to previous relationships are also more susceptible to greater violence. To explore this link further, we employed longitudinal data from 179 individuals who had recently experienced a breakup. We assessed post-dissolution closeness and self-concept clarity as mediators of the association between a history of aggression while dating and reconciliation within 6 months. We also assessed the directional nature of aggression (unidirectional or bidirectional) as a potential moderator. Logistic regressions as well as moderating mediating analyses (using Hayes' PROCESS) showed that both psychological and physical aggression were linked to reconciliation. Additionally, closeness mediated this association, but only for those who reported undirectional aggression. Specifically, aggression prior to breakups was associated with feeling closer with the ex-partner, which set the stage for reconciliation, primarily for those who reported one-sided aggression in their relationships. The findings offer insights on identifying those who are more susceptible to revictimization as well as why partners return to previously aggressive relationships. The results suggest additional research examining the causal linkages between cycling and aggression is warranted.

Language: en


intimate partner violence; physical aggression; psychological aggression; reconciliation; relationship cycling; relationship status fluidity


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