A Mixed-Methodological Examination of Investment Model Variables Among Abused and Nonabused College Women


Objective: This study assessed abused and nonabused women's perceptions of Investment Model (IM) variables (ie, relationship investment, satisfaction, commitment, quality of alternatives) utilizing a mixed-methods design. Participants: Participants included 102 college women, approximately half of whom were in abusive dating relationships. Methods: Qualitative content analyses were used to analyze transcribed responses to open-ended questions about abused and nonabused women's perceptions of IM variables. These coding categories were compared with a quantitative measure of IM variables. Results: Overall, abused and nonabused women were not found to differ on qualitative or quantitative measures with regard to overall level of commitment, investment, or perceived alternatives to their relationships. However, abused women reported lower levels of satisfaction, and listed more negative aspects of their relationships than nonabused women. Additionally, a number of factors were identified by women to affect their perceptions of these IM variables. Conclusions: Victims of dating violence may minimize the abuse sustained in efforts to maintain their relationships. Alternatively, dissonance between the positive and negative aspects of the relationships may drive ambivalence about leaving relationships, all of which could be addressed in dating violence prevention and intervention programming on campuses.


Psychology, Prevention Innovations Research Center Pubs

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Journal of American College Health


Taylor & Francis

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