Serial hurt in romantic relationships : toward an understanding of recurring hurtful interactions




Hampel, Alexa Danelle

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The present study explored the phenomenon of serial hurt – hurtful interactions between romantic partners that reoccur about the same topic or issue. In this investigation, a framework of serial hurt was offered, and a number of research questions and hypotheses were examined. The first goal of this study was to assess whether serial hurt was discernable from discrete hurt that occurred in a single, isolated instance. The second purpose of this project was to provide an initial exploration of serial hurt as it occurs in romantic relationships. A community sample of romantic partners (N = 203) completed a series of self-report questionnaires pertaining to either discrete or serial hurt in their current romantic relationships. Results indicated that romantic partners made sense of and responded to hurtful exchanges with their partner in distinct ways depending on the type of hurt experienced. Specifically, the results indicated that discrete hurt and serial hurt are experienced in unique ways by individuals, both cognitively and behaviorally. Further, descriptive, exploratory data on serial hurt provided insight into an alternative perspective for examining hurtful interactions in relationships.



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