The Illinois State University Interdisciplinary Research Group on Personal Relationships will present a research colloquium featuring Ximena Arriaga, Ph.D. from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 11, in room 145 of the Center for Visual Arts. Arriaga, a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and University Scholar at Purdue University, will present a talk titled, “The Invisible Harm of Partner Aggression.”


Partner aggression is extremely common and more harmful than may be widely recognized. Most people do not end their relationship the moment a partner becomes aggressive. This talk will examine specific beliefs that people adopt when they are motivated to continue their relationship, beliefs that effectively reinterpret or downplay their partner’s aggressive behavior. Longitudinal and experimental data will be presented that suggest: (1) people who have an aggressive partner experience elevated distress but do not perceive their relationship as distressing; (2) people become more accepting of partner aggression when it occurs in their own relationships; and (3) people underestimate how happy they will feel after their aggressive relationship ends. Together the findings reveal harm from partner aggression that may be “invisible.”

This speaker series is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Initiative and the ISU Interdisciplinary Research Group on Personal Relationships, with assistance from the Departments/Schools of Psychology, Sociology-Anthropology, Communication, Family and Consumer Sciences, and from the College of Applied Science and Technology.

For special accommodations or questions, please contact Susan Sprecher at Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.