Kristen P Mark

Kristen P Mark
University of Minnesota · Family Medicine and Community Health

PhD MPH

About

74
Publications
40,794
Reads
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1,553
Citations
Introduction
Sex and relationships researcher interested in sexual desire, sexual desire discrepancy, sexual and relationship satisfaction, sexual pleasure, and women's sexual health in the context of their couple relationships.
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - present
University of Kentucky
Position
  • Research Assistant
August 2011 - August 2012
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Statistical Consultant
August 2009 - August 2012
Indiana University Bloomington
Position
  • Project Manager
Education
August 2010 - May 2012
Indiana University Bloomington
Field of study
  • Biostatistics
August 2009 - July 2012
Indiana University Bloomington
Field of study
  • Health Behavior, Human Sexuality, Statistics
September 2007 - May 2009
University of Guelph
Field of study
  • Human Development & Family Studies; Human Sexuality

Publications

Publications (74)
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social distancing measures have caused widespread social and economic disruptions, resulting in spikes in unemployment and financial instability, along with drastic changes to people's ability to feel socially connected. Many of the changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are risk factors for depressive...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has focused on the connection between romantic love and sexual desire from psychological, neurological, and sexual health perspectives. However, studies examining this connection are varied, often are limited to heterosexual reports and rarely include women’s lived experiences. Therefore, the current study aimed to examine perspecti...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social distancing measures have caused widespread social and economic disruptions, resulting in spikes in unemployment and financial instability, along with drastic changes to people's ability to feel socially connected. Many of the changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are risk factors for depressive...
Article
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other gender and sexual minority (LGBTQ+) individuals have a long history of mobilizing to raise awareness and initiate social and political change for LGBTQ+ related issues. The present study explored how grassroots activism impacted resilience among LGBTQ+ people. In-depth and semi-structured interv...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual satisfaction has been robustly associated with relationship and individual well-being. Previous studies have found several individual (e.g., gender, self-esteem, and attachment) and relational (e.g., relationship satisfaction, relationship length, and sexual desire) factors that predict sexual satisfaction. The aim of the present study was t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Communication is an important component of many healthy sexual and romantic relationships. Positive communication strategies including expressing fondness and affection, exchanging compliments, and disclosing information about oneself with a partner are associated with relationship and sexual satisfaction, but less is known about its association to...
Article
Full-text available
Infidelity can be a disruptive event in a romantic relationship with a devastating impact on both partners’ well-being. Thus, there are benefits to identifying factors that can explain or predict infidelity, but prior research has not utilized methods that would provide the relative importance of each predictor. We used a machine learning algorithm...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Low sexual desire is the most common sexual problem reported with 34% of women and 15% of men reporting lack of desire for at least 3 months in a 12-month period. Sexual desire has previously been associated with both relationship and individual well-being highlighting the importance of understanding factors that contribute to sexual d...
Article
Previous research has found that sexual desire ebbs and flows over time within and across relationships, leading to instances of desire discrepancy. The purpose of the present study was to understand factors that may contribute to desire and desire discrepancy and examine differences and similarities across women from diverse sexual identity groups...
Preprint
Infidelity is a common occurrence in relationships and can have a devastating impact on both partners’ well-being. A large body of literature have attempted to factors that can explain or predict infidelity but have been unable to estimate the relative importance of each predictor. We used a machine learning algorithm, random forest (a type of inte...
Preprint
Previous studies have found a number of individual, relational, and societal factors that are associated with sexual desire. However, no studies to date have examined which of these variables are the most predictive of sexual desire. We used a machine learning algorithm, random forest (a type of interpretable highly non-linear decision tree), to pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous studies have found a number of different factors that are associated with sexual satisfaction but have been unable to estimate the relative importance of each predictor. We used a machine learning algorithm, random forest (a type of interpretable highly non-linear decision tree), to predict sexual satisfaction across two samples (total N =...
Article
While sexual frequency and satisfaction are strong contributors to the quality and longevity of romantic relationships and overall well-being, mismatches in sexual desire between partners are common and have been linked with poorer satisfaction. Previous findings linking mismatches in desire with poorer relationship and sexual outcomes have typical...
Article
Recreational sex is a popular form of leisure that has been redefined by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. “Social distancing” rules have imposed limits on sex for leisure while also creating new opportunities. We discuss results from an online survey of 1,559 adults who were asked about the pandemic’s impact on their intimate lives. While nearl...
Article
In couple’s therapy, secrets between the couple often arise, and couple’s therapists must navigate a balance between their ethical and therapeutic responsibilities. This paper provides a scoping review of the literature on how couple’s therapists handle secrets in the context of couple’s therapy and discusses the ethical and clinical considerations...
Article
Sexual consent is a crucial component of any healthy sexual relationship. The current study aimed to examine the extent to which women who have previously experienced sexual trauma but are now in a healthy relationship understand and navigate consent and feel empowered to voice their needs and wants in their relationship. These women are uniquely p...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire discrepancy, when one member of a couple experiences more or less sexual desire relative to their partner, is among the main reasons for couples to seek therapy. A great deal of prior research has examined the complexity of sexual desire and the role of sexual desire discrepancy in long-term relationships, but little research has spec...
Article
Despite advances in research into minority sexual identities, bisexual identity research has been limited. Studies conducted to date suggest that bisexuality is often perceived as a ‘transitional’ identity and bisexual individuals in relationships are often perceived to be either straight, lesbian, or gay based on the gender of their relationship p...
Article
Romantic love and sexual desire have often been seen as two distinct constructs and studied separately. However, in most romantic relationships love, desire, and sex are intertwined. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether daily feelings of love and desire influence engagement in and enjoyment of sexual activity. Ninety mixed-sex co...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sexual desire discrepancy, when one member of a couple experiences more or less sexual desire relative to their partner, is among the main reasons for couples to seek therapy. A great deal of prior research has examined the complexity of sexual desire and the role of sexual desire discrepancy in long-term relationships, but little research has spec...
Article
Introduction: Sexual activity is an important aspect of most romantic relationships. However, many couples report declines in sexual activity over time and report many reasons for not engaging in sexual activity on a daily basis. Aim: To investigate the reasons for not engaging in sexual activity in couples over a month and whether these reasons...
Article
The first national study of body image was reported four decades ago in the article The Happy American Body (Berscheid et al., 1973). To provide a modern follow-up to this study, we used two Internet panel surveys of U.S. adults to examine feelings about appearance (Survey 1: Married N = 1095; Single N = 5481) and weight, appearance, body, and musc...
Article
Parents in the USA struggle to maintain their sexual and relational health over time. The current study aimed to investigate the impact of positive communication and partner appraisals on sexual and relationship satisfaction in a sample of 93 mixed sex couples (N = 186) with children living in the home on a full-time basis. Results indicated that f...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire contributes to overall sexual and relational health among long-term romantic partnerships. However, little research has examined the nuances of partner-level sexual desire and behavior on a daily level, despite evidence that it ebbs and flows and is more of a state than a static characteristic. Additionally, daily sexual behavior and...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire discrepancy is one of the most frequently reported sexual concerns for individuals and couples and has been shown to be negatively associated with sexual and relationship satisfaction. Sexual desire has increasingly been examined as a state-like construct that ebbs and flows, but little is known about whether there are patterns in the...
Article
Full-text available
Healthy sexual development is a crucial part of human development. Development of sexual values can come from a variety of sources including education, media, and relationships. The present study examined similarities and differences in the sources of sexual values across orientation groups and gender and their impact on sexual satisfaction and des...
Preprint
Sexual desire discrepancy and low sexual desire are two of the most frequently reported sexual concerns for individuals and couples and both have been shown to be negatively associated with sexual and relationship satisfaction. Sexual desire has increasingly been examined as a state like construct that ebbs and flows, but little is known about whet...
Article
Research has demonstrated a strong link between relationship and sexual satisfaction in the context of romantic relationships. However, little research has examined this in the context of a dyadic longitudinal sample, where both partner and actor effects are considered over time. The current study aimed to assess directional fit of the link between...
Article
Full-text available
The most universally experienced sexual response is sexual desire. Though research on this topic has increased in recent years, low and high desire are still problematized in clinical settings and the broader culture. However, despite knowledge that sexual desire ebbs and flows both within and between individuals, and that problems with sexual desi...
Article
Full-text available
Women’s sexual desire is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon. According to the biopsychosocial model of female sexual function, a comprehensive understanding of women’s sexuality requires awareness of the presence of and interaction between biological, psychological, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors. Other sexuality scholars in the field hav...
Article
Full-text available
The Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI; Spector, Carey, & Steinberg, 1996) is one of the most popular scales used to measure dyadic and solitary sexual desire. Research on sexual desire has primarily focused on heterosexual cisgender experiences, and the SDI has not been validated in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer (LGBTQ) populations. To address...
Article
Full-text available
Research has indicated that adult romantic attachment is influential and important to sexual and relationship satisfaction. Sexual desire, although not a direct focus of attachment literature, is highly related to sexual and relationship satisfaction, suggesting it may also be impacted by attachment style in romantic couples. However, the research...
Article
Background: Despite known prevention and screening efforts, there are higher invasive cervical cancer rates in Appalachia than in other areas of the United States and higher mortality rates in the Appalachian region of Kentucky compared to Appalachian regions of other states. Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the asso...
Article
Background: Despite the adverse effects that treatment for colorectal cancer can have on patients' quality of life and, in particular, their intimate relationships, very little research has been conducted on the psychosocial adjustment for both patients and their partners/spouses. Objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to examine dyad...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This study aimed to examine discrepancies between self-report methods and methodological issues related to sexual risk taking. We examined sexual behaviour assessed via 3-month electronic recall and by daily electronic reporting among a large cohort of patients attending STI clinics. Methods STI clinic attenders (N= 628) aged 15 to 60 y...
Article
Full-text available
The Fifty Shades book series is immensely popular, highly sexually explicit, and may offer an opportunity for sexual health education among readers. Past research has examined some of the messaging in the series from a variety of frameworks, but has not examined messages specific to sexual and reproductive health. Utilizing thematic analysis, the c...
Article
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Promescent is a lidocaine-based ejaculation delaying spray that absorbs into the skin of the penis prior to sexual activity. This article aimed to evaluate the effect of Promescent on the experience of orgasm, ejaculatory latency time and quality of sexual experience (QSE). Additionally, we assessed ease of application of Promescent and the extent...
Article
Introduction: Research investigating the impact of contraceptive use on sexual desire has produced mixed results. This scholarship also has had inconsistent methodology, with some studies not separating contraceptive types and others lacking non-hormonal comparison groups. Relationship context of contraceptive use and sexual behavior also have not...
Article
Full-text available
Condoms are not used consistently among sexually active college students, indicating a need to understand condom acquisition patterns. This study describes purchased and free acquisition of condoms, factors influencing purchased condom acquisition, and condom-associated embarrassment among college students. A random sample of students at a public u...
Article
Sexual desire discrepancy is a mismatch between an individual and his or her partner’s level of sexual desire. Due to the number of factors that influence the ebb and flow of individual sexual desire, desire discrepancy is a common experience at one time or another in long-term romantic relationships. Although this is a common experience, the resea...
Article
Despite general perceptions of committed romantic relationships as the most satisfying context with which to engage in sexual activity, acceptance of casual sexual contexts has increased in recent years. Yet little research has examined sexual and emotional satisfaction outside of the committed relationship context. Further, most satisfaction resea...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to explore women's experiences with attractions and feelings for people outside their primary romantic relationship. In an anonymous Internet-based survey, 160 women answered open-ended questions about crushes. Women had varied experiences with, and diverse strategies for, managing crushes. The majority of women reporte...
Article
Introduction: Over the past two decades, sexual desire and desire discrepancy have become more frequently studied as have potential pharmaceutical interventions to treat low sexual desire. However, the complexities of sexual desire-including what exactly is desired-remain poorly understood. Aims: To understand the object of men's and women's sex...
Article
Full-text available
Bisexuality researchers have explored various aspects of bisexual (" bi ") commitment, including how bi-identified individuals negotiate nonmonogamous relationships, relationship stability in couples with 1 bi-identified and 1 straight-identified partner, and patterns of commitment across the life cycle. However, no research to date has quantitativ...
Article
IntroductionSexual desire discrepancy is commonly reported by couples in long-term romantic relationships. Given the idiosyncratic nature of desire, and the lack of a “one size fits all” model approach to address desire concerns, it is useful to understand more about the range of ways that women and their partners modulate sexual desire.AimThis stu...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has found associations between sexual desire, desire discrepancy, and satisfaction outcomes in individuals and couples on a broad level. The present study aimed to extend these findings to the event level through examining daily experiences of sexual desire, sexual desire discrepancy, and quality of the sexual experience in a sample...
Article
Full-text available
This study was designed to systematically compare and contrast the psychometric properties of three scales developed to measure sexual satisfaction and a single-item measure of sexual satisfaction. The Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS), Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction (GMSEX), and the New Sexual Satisfaction Scale-Short (NSSS-S) were compare...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has consistently found that attraction is important in the formation of relationships though research on attraction in long-term relationships is less well understood. This article examined the predictive value of self-reported attraction to partner and change in attraction to partner on sexual and relationship satisfaction in 176...
Article
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The associations between sexual compatibility and sexual and relationship satisfaction were examined in a sample of 133 college-age heterosexual couples. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between two types of sexual compatibility (actual sexual compatibility and perceived sexual compatibility) and sexual and...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences and other demographic correlates of condom fit and feel problems among a diverse sample of adult condom users and to examine men's and women's perceptions and experiences with condom fit and feel problems. Participants were recruited from an electronic mailing list. The analytic sample...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire has been shown to be positively related to sexual and relationship satisfaction. Sexual desire discrepancy has received relatively little empirical attention in the context of dyads, though research shows that larger discrepancies in desire may be associated with lower satisfaction outcomes. The relative importance of sexual desire an...
Article
Little is known about the characteristics of sexual events during which individuals choose to use lubricant with condoms. The aims of this article were to evaluate the determinants of adding lubricant to condoms during baseline and at the event level, to assess the event-level variables' influence on adding lubricants to condoms, and to assess the...
Article
Full-text available
The authors examined desire discrepancy and its effect on sexual and relationship satisfaction in a sample of 133 heterosexual couples attending a midsize university. Couples were required to be in a relationship for at least 1 year (M = 4.32 years, SD = 3.13 years); 23.7% of the couples were cohabitating. Hierarchical multiple regression results i...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to examine in a sample of college-age heterosexual couples the relations between (a) relationship and sexual satisfaction and (b) sexual and nonsexual communication. The authors tested a mediation model whereby couples' relationship satisfaction was hypothesized to predict couples' sexual satisfaction by way of sexual and nonsexual...
Conference Paper
BACKGROUND: Scientific interest in the factors related to sexual satisfaction is prolific, perhaps due to the persistent positive relationship between sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction. Among these factors, sexual desire receives more attention than any other aspect of human sexuality and desire discrepancy within an intimate relati...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to assess the relative importance of demographic, interpersonal, and personality factors in predicting sexual infidelity in heterosexual couples. A total of 506 men (M age = 32.86 years, SD = 10.60) and 412 women (M age = 27.66 years, SD = 8.93), who indicated they were in a monogamous sexual relationship, completed a series of que...
Article
Full-text available
Condom-distribution programs have striven to make condoms more accessible to sexually active individuals, particularly adolescents and populations disproportionately affected by HIV and other STIs. Despite such programs, little is known about where condom-using men in the United States acquire their condoms. The purpose of this study was to documen...
Article
The purpose of the present study was to compare the emotional reactions of depressed and nondepressed individuals to experiences of romantic rejection versus acceptance. We tested our hypotheses in a sample of 28 depressed and 43 nondepressed undergraduate students. In support of self-consistency theories, the results showed that depressed individu...
Article
Community Support Connections (CSC) is the result of the merger of four private not-for-profit community health care agencies. The purpose of this research project was to evaluate the progress of CSC toward its stated goal: improvement of coordination and accessibility of health services. As of this writing, more than one year into the merger, mana...

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