Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Ann Marie Yali


partner pornography use, romantic relationships, betrayal, forgiveness, relationship commitment, forgiveness of pornography use


The purpose of this study was to examine the roles of relationship factors (e.g., trust, investment, and commitment) and forgiveness in the perception of partner pornography use as a betrayal. It was hypothesized that relationship factors and forgiveness would be significantly related to pornography distress, betrayal intensity, and depression. Participants were recruited from three sources: students from an urban university in the Northeast through an online platform called SONA (N = 13), social media sites (i.e., Facebook and Reddit, N = 1105), and through the snowballing technique (N = 49). The final sample size after the data cleaning procedure was N = 135, which was further separated into two subsamples, the Betrayed Subsample (n = 47) and the Not Betrayed Subsample (n = 86). The results of the study revealed that investment and commitment had significant negative and positive associations, respectively, with pornography distress. Commitment was negatively associated with the perception of betrayal. Depression had a significant positive relationship with pornography distress and betrayal intensity only for betrayed participants. Investment had a significant positive relationship with forgiveness; and forgiveness was positively correlated with pornography distress, betrayal intensity, and depression amongst betrayed participants. The limitations of the study as well as implications of the findings are discussed.



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