The mediating effect of daily stress on the sexual arousal function of women with a history of childhood sexual abuse

a University of Vermont, Department of Psychology , Burlington , Vermont , USA.
Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (Impact Factor: 1.27). 03/2013; 39(2):176-92. DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2012.691950
Source: PubMed


Psychopathologies such as posttraumatic stress disorder are often proposed as mediators of the sexual arousal dysfunction experienced by women with a history of childhood maltreatment. However, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms are only part of the difficulties experienced by these women. Other factors to consider include negative affectivity and perceived daily stress. To assess the mediating role of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, negative affectivity, and perceived daily stress, we collected data from 62 women with and without a history of childhood maltreatment (sexual, physical and emotional abuse). A comprehensive assessment of sexual arousal functioning and sexual responses was obtained using self-reported measures and psychophysiological measures of vaginal engorgement and subjective sexual arousal during exposure to sexual visual stimuli. The model assessed the simultaneous mediating effect of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, negative affectivity and perceived daily stress on the relation between childhood maltreatment and sexual variables. Daily stress, showed a significant and stronger mediation effect on sexual arousal functioning as compared to posttraumatic stress disorder and negative affectivity. These findings suggest that daily stress may be an important mechanism to consider when treating sexual arousal functioning in women who have a history of childhood maltreatment.

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    • "Lutfey et al. (2008), examining the association between multiple forms of abuse and female sexual dysfunction (FSD), further report that the pain and satisfaction domains of FSD are more closely associated with an abuse history than the domains of desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm. Note also that mediating factors, such as adverse effects of daily stress, have been found to influence the association between sexual arousal functioning in women who were maltreated during childhood (i.e., sexual, physical and emotional maltreatment; Zollman et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: the present quantitative longitudinal study focuses on the inter-relationships between sexual abuse, distressed female sexual function and childbirth. Additional variables studied include depression, mode of delivery, subjective birth experience and traumatic life events other than sexual abuse. data collection for the study was extended across three time periods: during the third trimester of pregnancy and approximately one and six months postpartum. Self-reported questionnaire responses of 300 women from two medical centres in Israel, as well as hospital records regarding their mode of childbirth, were included in the data analysis. Measures incorporated in the study included the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised, the Beck Depression Inventory and modified versions of the Traumatic Events Questionnaire, the Sexual Experiences Survey, and the Subjective Birth Experience Questionnaire. findings demonstrated that women with a lifetime history of sexual abuse compared to women without such history, are at an increased risk for distressed antenatal and postpartum female sexual function (Odds Ratio OR=2.66 and OR=2.26, respectively); and postpartum depression (OR=2.36). Antenatal depression was likewise shown to be significantly associated with antenatal and postpartum distressed female sexual function (OR=4.32 and OR=10.4, respectively), as well as with a more negatively experienced childbirth (T-Ratio, T=1.98, p<0.05). Moreover, distressed antenatal female sexual function was found to increase the risk for a more negatively experienced childbirth (T=2.04, p<0.05), and caesarean childbirth (OR=3.34). the current study enriches the understanding of the inter-relationships between the antenatal, childbirth and postpartum variables studied herein; and has implications for evidence based practice in both preventative and intervention efforts. Recommendations for future research are presented and discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Midwifery 07/2015; 31(11). DOI:10.1016/j.midw.2015.07.011 · 1.57 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 03/2013; 39(4). DOI:10.1080/0092623X.2013.776654 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim. The assessment of links of accumulated traumatic events of a sexual nature, recol-lected from the past, with the current functioning of the patients in the area of sexual life and relationship. Material and methods. Comorbidity of memories of traumatic sexual events from child-hood and puberty in patients with the features of their current partner relationships and sexual life were analyzed on the basis of Live Inventory completed by 2,582 women and 1,347 men, before treatment in day hospital (years 1980-2002). The accumulation was evaluated for a combination of two or three selected events. Results. The presence of relatively numerous traumatic events in the field of sexuality – early initiation or enforced initiation, incest or its attempt, sub-optimal sexual education and punishment for masturbation was indicated. In some patients, these events occurred simulta-neously. Especially in women, the presence in the same person of two or three aggravating circumstances of life was associated with a higher risk of among others fleeting, casual sexual contacts, marriage under the influence of environment pressures, reluctance to partner. Conclusions. Increased accumulation – the presence in the same patient of more than one adverse circumstances associated with sexual development – leads to a higher incidence of interference in relationship with a partner including the elements of sexual dysfunction. The obtained results are generally consistent with clinical observations and literature despite different, simplified methodology of the study based on the analysis of single variables from questionnaire interviews. Finding fewer links in the group of men can be explained by their much lower number in the study group and less frequent burdening with certain traumatic events or different experiencing.
    Psychiatria polska 08/2014; 48(4):739-758. · 0.73 Impact Factor
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