The Moderating Role of Psychological Distress in the Link between Childhood Trauma and Relationship Quality

Document Type : Original Article


Ph.D. student of psychology, Department of Psychology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran.


Background: The role of psychological distress in the relationship between childhood trauma and relationship quality has been neglected as a variable that can moderate the relationship between childhood trauma and relationship quality.

Methods and Materials: The design of the current study was a descriptive correlation. The statistical population included all couples over 18 years old in 2022. The sample size was 444 people who were selected from the statistical population using the available sampling method. Due to the spread of Omicron disease, sampling was done online. The link of the questionnaires, which contained Bernstein's childhood trauma questionnaire (2003), Kessler's psychological distress (2002), and Pierce's relationship quality (1991), was provided to people on WhatsApp and Telegram virtual networks, and they were asked to answer the questionnaires. The analysis method was correlation and Hayes regression, and the data were analyzed using software (SPSS) version 21 with the PROCESS plugin to calculate the role of the moderator.

Rasults: The results showed that childhood trauma and psychological distress have a significant role in predicting relationship quality, and the interaction effect of childhood trauma and psychological distress on relationship quality was also significant (β=0.172, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Psychological distress moderates the relationship between childhood trauma and the quality of relationships. That is, the high or low level of psychological distress in people with childhood trauma determines the qualitative levels of relationships in couples.


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