Predicting Personal and Relational Recovery from Infidelity in Committed Relationship: A Moderated Mediation Model
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Infidelity can be damaging to committed relationships and is the most frequently cited cause of divorce (Austin Institute, 2014). Evidence suggests that couples can survive the trauma of infidelity, and that recovery is possible (Heintzelman, Murdock, Krycak, & Seay, 2014; Olson, Russell, Higgins-Kessler, & Miller, 2002); however, the recovery process following the disclosure of infidelity remains an under-studied area in the infidelity literature. The present study, informed by attachment theory, infidelity literature, and forgiveness research, used a moderated mediation model analyzing the contribution of attachment style, socio-cognitive correlates (i.e. rumination, attribution, and empathy), and perceived partner empathy to personal and relational recovery from infidelity among a sample of individuals who chose to remain in the relationship in which the infidelity occurred. Path analytic findings revealed that (a) the attachment anxiety – forgiveness link was partially mediated by rumination, but not attribution, whereas the attachment avoidance – forgiveness link was partially mediated by low empathy; (b) perceived partner empathy did not moderate the relation between attachment and rumination, attribution, and empathy; (c) perceived partner empathy, but not attachment anxiety, predicted lower non-benign attribution, and was directly or indirectly related to all four recovery outcomes; and (d) forgiveness was a significant second-order mediator in relationships between insecure attachment and other distal recovery outcomes including psychological distress, relationship satisfaction, and relational trust. Implications are discussed.
Table of Contents
Introduction and literature review -- Method -- Data analysis -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Demographic c Questionnaire -- Appendix B. The Experience in Close Relationships-Revised -- Appendix C. Intrusiveness Subscale of the Impact of Event Scale -- Appendix D. The Relationship Attribution Measure -- Appendix E. Affective Empathy Scale -- Appendix F. Empathic Understanding (E) Subscale of the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory -- Appendix G The Marital Offense-Specific Forgiveness Scale -- Appendix H. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist –21 -- Appendix I. The Dyadic Adjustment Scale -- Appendix J. Trust Scale -- Appendix K. Solicitation Message (Internet Posting) --Appendix L. Informed consent -- Appendix M. incentive form
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)