College Women’s Stay/Leave Decisions in Abusive Dating Relationships: A Prospective Analysis of an Expanded Investment Model


The purpose of the current study was to explore college women’s stay/ leave decisions in abusive relationships using a prospective methodology. Participants (N = 323) completed surveys at the beginning and end of a 10-week academic quarter for course credit. A path analysis suggested that the model—which included investment model variables (i.e., relationship commitment, investment, satisfaction, and quality of alternatives), childhood abuse, psychological distress, avoidance coping, and self-esteem—was a good fit to the data and predicted abused women’s leaving behaviors over the interim. The implications of these findings for future research, theory, and clinical work are discussed.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence


Sage Publications

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type