Do We Stand in Our Own Way of Love? The Impact of Trauma Coping Flexibility on Self-Sabotaging Behaviours in Intimate Relationships
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Do We Stand in Our Own Way of Love? The Impact of Trauma Coping Flexibility on Self-Sabotaging Behaviours in Intimate Relationships

The purpose of this study is to examine trauma and self-sabotaging behaviours in intimate relationships.


Involvement in this study is voluntary. While we would be pleased to have you participate, we respect your right to decline. There will be no consequences to you if you decide not to participate. Should you wish to, you may withdraw at any time without explanation or prejudice. However, as you are not required to identify yourself, once you have responded to a question, we will not be able to remove any of your responses from the data, if you stop taking part. Your decision whether you take part, do not take part, or to take part and then withdraw, will in no way impact your current or future relationship with the University of Southern Queensland.


If you consent to be involved in the study:

  • You will be invited to participate in an online survey titled 'Do We Stand in Our Own Way of Love? The Impact of Trauma Coping Flexibility on Self-Sabotaging Behaviours in Intimate Relationships'.
  • Questions will be related to your relationship and trauma experiences.
  • The survey should only take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
  • The survey is available online using this link.

Expected Benefits

It is expected that this project will not directly benefit you. However, it is possible that you might utilise the insight gathered from taking part in this study to assist in managing future relationship behaviours and maladaptive relationship patterns. Overall, this project will give insight into the impact of trauma coping flexibility on self-sabotaging behaviours in intimate relationships. It will also highlight any influences of gender and sexual identity on these relationships. This information is important due to the current gap in the literature on understanding which population experiences greatest impact of traumatic events and whether or not relationships still retain a protective effect for individuals in this population. This study aims to address this gap in the literature, and the potential implications of this research are as follows:

1) A re-allocation of resources to individuals who are most likely to be impacted by traumatic events, such as victims of interpersonal violence.

2) An increased national focus on the benefits of relationships and increased resources towards managing relationship conflict in a mental health setting.


Participation in this study should involve no physical or mental discomfort, and no risks beyond those of everyday living. If, however, you should find any question or procedure to be invasive or offensive, you are free to omit answering or participating in that aspect of the study. You may contact Lifeline (131 114), QLife Diverse Voices (1800 184 527), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) or the Suicide Call-back Service (1300 659 467) for support. Participants also have the option to contact the USQ Psychology and Counselling clinic in Toowoomba (07 4631 1763) or Ipswich (07 3812 6163) or the USQ Counselling and Wellness Services for support. You may also wish to consider consulting your General Practitioner (GP) for additional support.

Privacy and Confidentiality

All comments and responses will be treated confidentially unless required by law.

All data collected in this study will be stored confidentially. Only members of the research team will have access to the data. USQ students seeking psychology research participation points will be identifiable only for the purpose of being awarded credit points and responses and contact details will be strictly confidential. The data from the study will be used in research publications and reports (e.g., journal articles, and thesis) and participants will not be identified in any way in these publications.

Any data collected as a part of this project will be stored securely as per University of Southern Queensland’s Research Data Management Policy.

Questions or Further Information about the Project

Please refer to the principal investigator's contact details to have any questions answered or to request further information about this project.

Concerns or Complaints Regarding the Conduct of the Project

This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review processes of the University of Southern Queensland and within the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. You are, of course, free to discuss your participation with the project primary investigator.

If you have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project, you may contact the University of Southern Queensland Manager of Research Integrity and Ethics on +61 7 4631 1839 or email The Manager of Research Integrity and Ethics is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an unbiased manner. For technical concerns or difficulties accessing the survey please contact Ken Askin, University of Southern Queensland, at

Principal Investigator Details

Dr Raquel Peel


Telephone: 07 38126088