Emotional Attachments in Abusive Relationships: A Test of Traumatic Bonding Theory

  title={Emotional Attachments in Abusive Relationships: A Test of Traumatic Bonding Theory},
  author={Donald G. Dutton and Susan Lee Painter},
  journal={Violence and Victims},
  pages={105 - 120}
An empirical test of traumatic bonding theory, the notion that strong emotional attachments are formed by intermittent abuse, is reported. In-depth assessments (interviews plus questionnaires) were conducted on 75 women who had recently left abusive relationships (50 where physical violence had occurred). The study found support for the effect of relationship dynamic factors such as extremity of intermittent maltreatment and power differentials on long-term felt attachment for a former partner… 

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