Partner abuse and its association with emotional distress: A study exploring LGBTI relationships

Ireland, Jane Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5117-5930, Birch, Philip, Kolstee, Johann and Alison, Ritchie (2017) Partner abuse and its association with emotional distress: A study exploring LGBTI relationships. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry . ISSN 0160-2527

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


This study examines partner abuse in LBGTI relationships, with focus on the associations with emotional distress and protective factors. Two hundred and eighty-seven participants took part. Partner abuse (victimisation) comprised three factors; conflict orientated aggression; hostile ignorance and control of communication; and social control and possessiveness (including threats to possessions). Perpetration factors were similar. Significant differences across sexuality or gender were limited to the perpetration of abuse relating to suspicion and possessiveness, where men were more likely to report this than the other gender groups, and women were less likely to report this. Of those reporting abuse in their current relationship, over half reported experiencing abuse in a primary relationship previously, with 60 per cent reporting exposure to abuse as a child. Partner abuse in their current relationship predicted current levels of increased emotional distress, with reduced satisfaction with the current relationship having an indirect impact on this association. Resilience traits were not a predictor or mediator. The results demonstrate the similarity in abuse across LGB communities despite the diversity of genders, sexualities and experiences within these groups. The results are discussed with regards to directions for future research and implications for practice

Repository Staff Only: item control page