Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Wagner, Melanie. The Relation Between Childhood Maltreatment and Marriage Quality in Adulthood. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2022.


Copyright Melanie Wagner 2022.


Childhood maltreatment poses the potential for lasting effects on survivors as they enter adulthood. Research lacks investigations into these potential effects, such as the impact on interpersonal relations. This study investigates the correlation between different types of childhood maltreatment and overall quality of marriage, as well as aims to identify which type of childhood maltreatment may be the strongest relative predictor of marital quality. Analyses on a newlywed dataset from Lancaster County, NE yielded results of a strong negative association between measures of childhood maltreatment and marital quality through the application of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and the Quality of Marriage Inventory. Further, maltreatment in the form of emotional neglect was found to be the strongest predictor of marital quality. Gender differences between the couples were also investigated in an exploratory manner. The findings demonstrate the existence of potential lasting, negative effects from childhood maltreatment into adulthood and call for more concrete intervention into each maltreatment type earlier on.