The roles of emotion in relationships

Sally Planalp, Julie Fitness, Beverley A. Fehr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Romantic partners do not always abide by expectations for loving relationships. Because romantic involvements often satisfy needs for connection, security, and intimacy, it becomes deeply painful when partners become aggressive. This chapter reviews existing theory and research on the causes, nature, and consequences of partner aggression, and critically examines existing theoretical frameworks and assumptions about typologies and gender differences. We discuss the relational context of partner aggression, such as the role of dependence, commitment, and cognitive processes that may lead individuals to justify remaining in an aggressive relationship. Individuals may fail to recognize the harm caused by verbal and emotional aggression. Finally, we discuss the efficacy of efforts to reduce partner aggression, and conclude by suggesting that a greater understanding of partner aggression may empower individuals to make effective relationship choices that address their needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge handbook of personal relationships
EditorsAnita L. Vangelisti, Daniel Perlman
Place of PublicationCambridge, United Kingdom
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781316417867
ISBN (Print)9781107130265, 9781107571204
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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