Low concordance of reports across partners has consistently been observed when partners report the frequency of intimate partner violence (IPV) and psychological aggression (PA) in their relationship. Researchers have been unsuccessful in the quest to discover systematic biases across reporters, perhaps due to examining constructs that are not the source of bias (e.g., gender, victim/perpetrator status) or examining potentially fruitful constructs using underpowered statistics or erroneous conceptualizations (e.g., examining variables at a dyadic, rather than an individual, level). We used multilevel modeling with two samples (Ns = 88 and 164 couples) to examine husbands' and wives' relationship satisfaction as individual-level correlates of husband- and wife-perpetrated IPV and PA reporting concordance. Consistent with prior literature, low to moderate levels of agreement were observed, and gender and victim/perpetrator status were not consistently associated with reporting concordance. In contrast, for both husbands and wives, relationship satisfaction was associated with reporting concordance such that high relationship satisfaction was related to reporting less of one's partner's PA than the partner reported, whereas low relationship satisfaction was related to reporting more of one's partner's PA than the partner reported. A similar pattern of results emerged for the reporting of IPV, but results did not cross validate between samples. These findings suggest that relationship satisfaction may lead to either reluctance, or increased willingness, to attribute negative relationship events to partner behavior, potentially due to partner blame and relationship schemas. In addition, the influence of individual-level factors may be occluded when aggregated across partners to examine correlates of interpartner reporting concordance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology