Trauma from female incestuous child sexual abuse may result in negative psychological consequences affecting adult relationships. This study explored relational consequences of incestuous child sexual abuse, focusing on conflict resolution styles, relationship satisfaction, and relationship stability. Using the RELATionship Evaluation dataset, 457 heterosexual couples in which female partners experienced incestuous child sexual abuse were compared to a group of 1,827 couples with no sexual abuse history. Analyses tested differences in the frequencies of reported conflict resolution styles for incestuous child sexual abuse and non–incestuous child sexual abuse groups, the mediating effects of conflict resolution styles on the relationship between incestuous child sexual abuse, and self- and partner-reported relationship satisfaction and stability. Significant differences in the reports of types of conflict resolution styles were found for incestuous child sexual abuse versus non–incestuous child sexual abuse groups. Incestuous child sexual abuse and conflict resolution styles were negatively related to relationship satisfaction and stability and there was a significant indirect effect between female incestuous child sexual abuse, female volatility, and relationship instability. Clinical applications for couple relationships are discussed.
- conflict resolution styles
- female childhood sexual abuse
- relationship satisfaction
- relationship stability
- self and partner report