Informations and abstract
Keywords: psychological abuse, romantic relationships, theoretical models, risk factors, gender differences.
The psychological abuse can be defined as a systematic destruction of self-esteem, sense of safety and identity of partner and often occurs in romantic relationships where there is unbalance in power and control between the partners. It includes threats of harm or abandonment, humiliation, deprivation of contact, isolation, and other kind of psychologically abusive behaviors and tactics. Only recently such phenomenon has been considered as a separate and distinct form of abuse, not necessarily overlapping to physical or sexual violence. This review intends to present the current status of research in this field taking into examination the main theoretical models presented over the years, the epidemiology and the possible etiological factors of individual, social, familial and relational nature.