Natalie Rosen

Natalie Rosen
Dalhousie University | Dal · Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Doctor of Psychology

About

147
Publications
21,175
Reads
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2,584
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - present
Dalhousie University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2012 - June 2016
Dalhousie University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (147)
Article
Full-text available
Sexual talk is a type of verbal communication that occurs exclusively during sexual activity and that is specific to the sexual activity itself. Previous research has identified two types of sexual talk: individualistic (i.e., self-focused) and mutualistic (i.e., sharing/partner-focused), which have generally been linked to greater sexual and relat...
Article
Background Postpartum sexual concerns are associated with depressive symptoms, distress, and lower relationship satisfaction, and are commonly reported by both mothers and their partners. Previous studies have examined changes in postpartum sexual concern using aggregate scores and have not examined patterns of change for unique concerns, thus igno...
Article
Women commonly experience heightened sexual distress in pregnancy and postpartum, and there is limited knowledge of protective factors. Women report declines in the importance of sexuality during this time, suggesting that valuing sexuality could be a relevant individual difference factor. It may be particularly protective for women to feel success...
Article
(Abstracted from Obstet Gynecol 2022;139(3):391–399) Dyspareunia, defined as pain during vaginal intercourse, commonly affects women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Although its prevalence has been extensively studied, the wide variability in prevalence estimates may be explained by heterogeneity in trajectories of dyspareunia, which ha...
Article
Background Genito-pelvic pain (GPP) affects a sizable minority of women and results of existing treatments can be variable. A method of general pain treatment that has not yet been extended to penetration-related GPP is Explicit Motor Imagery (EMI), which uses pain-related images to help individuals with pain alter their responses to pain, resultin...
Preprint
Full-text available
*Update* Published July 15, 2022 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2022.06.004 Background. Postpartum sexual concerns are associated with depressive symptoms, distress, and lower relationship satisfaction, and are commonly reported by both mothers and their partners. Previous studies have examined changes in postpartum sexual concern using aggregat...
Article
Doel: in deze gerandomiseerde klinische trial wordt een nieuwe cognitief-gedragstherapeutische relatietherapie (CGRT) vergeleken met lokaal toegepaste lidocaïne voor de behandeling van ‘provoked vulvodynie’ (pijn aan de vulva). Methode: de deelnemers waren 108 vrouwen (Mleeftijd = 27,06) en hun partner. De deelnemers werden aselect ingedeeld in een...
Article
Full-text available
Beliefs about sexuality tend to become more salient during sexual challenges and are associated with how individuals respond to these difficulties and, in turn, their sexual well-being. The transition to parenthood is marked by significant changes to couples’ sexuality. As such, this period of vulnerability may be an important context in which thes...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire is associated with romantic relationship satisfaction and maintenance, yet desire for a partner often declines over time. Self-expansion (new experiences that facilitate growth) with a partner boosts desire, but how this occurs is not well-understood. Across three studies—a 21-day daily experience study, a one-month weekly experience...
Article
Full-text available
Whereas greater levels of intimacy have been shown to promote couples’ sexual well-being, recent theories suggest that satisfying sex is maintained via the capacity to encourage the partner’s individuality, while remaining intimately connected. Responses to capitalization attempts (i.e., the disclosure of a positive personal event) provide an oppor...
Article
Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a chronic vulvovaginal pain condition affecting 8%-10% of women and is associated with negative sexual sequalae. Our randomized clinical trial comparing cognitive-behavioral couple therapy (CBCT) to a medical intervention (lidocaine) found that both treatments improved affected women's pain and both affected women's...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To identify distinct trajectories of dyspareunia in primiparous women and examine biopsychosocial risk factors of these trajectories. Methods: This was a prospective cohort of 582 first-time mothers. Participants completed validated measures of dyspareunia at 20-24 (baseline) and 32-36 weeks of gestation and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months...
Article
Background Although distal developmental factors, such as attachment and childhood maltreatment (CM), are associated with the occurrence, severity, and adjustment to provoked vestibulodynia (PVD)—the most prevalent form of vulvodynia—no studies to date have examined whether these variables are related to treatment efficacy in the context of PVD. At...
Chapter
The development and maintenance of sexual dysfunction have been widely conceptualized within the framework of the biopsychosocial model. Yet, this model often overlooks the importance of the interpersonal context in which sex, and its challenges, frequently occur. In this article, we review the diagnostic categories and prevalence of sexual dysfunc...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the associations between childhood maltreatment (CM) and the mean-level of perceived partner responsiveness (PPR; the extent to which individuals feel cared for, understood, and validated by their partner) over 35 days, the day-to-day variability in PPR, and the initial levels and trajectories of PPR over 1 year in community cou...
Article
Background There is limited information about the physical indicators and biopsychosocial predictors of self-reported pain during intercourse and pain during a gynecological examination at 12- and 24-month following childbirth. Aim This longitudinal study aimed to (i) Compare the findings from gynecological exams at 12- and 24-month postpartum for...
Article
Full-text available
In long-term relationships, sexual desire discrepancy (SDD) occurs frequently between partners. For many, this discrepancy is persistent and significant, and a source of distress. However, the dynamics of SDD in couples and, specifically, its implications for sexual distress have received scant empirical attention. This study examined the associati...
Article
Background Research to date suggests that couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) are at a high risk of experiencing sexual difficulties. Aim This dyadic cross-sectional study aimed to provide a better understanding of the infertility-specific personal (ie, emotional, mind-body) and relational stressors associated with the sexual...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Over the past 30 years, there has been substantial evidence that women’s sexual self-schemas—views of themselves as a sexual person—are associated with their sexual function. The aim of this review was to summarize existing methods of conceptualizing and assessing sexual self-schemas, including their advantages, disadvantages, and...
Article
Despite sexual activity being safe for the majority of expectant couples (i.e., the pregnant individual and their partner), negative attitudes toward having sex during pregnancy are common and are related to lower sexual well-being across this vulnerable life period. Using dyadic response surface analysis in a sample of 254 first-time expectant cou...
Article
Objective To provide a more comprehensive understanding of couple relationship satisfaction, commitment, and the dynamic between the two over the transition to parenthood. Background The transition to parenthood is an ideal time to concurrently study relationship satisfaction and commitment, as this period is filled with familial transitions such...
Article
Provoked vestibulodynia is a vulvar pain condition causing sexual dysfunction, affecting 8% to 10% of women. Our recently published randomized clinical trial (N = 108 couples) found that cognitive behavioral couple therapy (CBCT) and topical lidocaine reduced women’s pain and associated sexual symptoms, with CBCT showing more benefits. Little is kn...
Article
New parents experience significant disruption to their sexual relationships such as lower desire and sexual frequency relative to prepregnancy. Little is known about the sexual distress new parents feel related to these changes, how sexual distress evolves over time, or how coping with stress relates to this distress. New parent couples who engage...
Article
Objective: This randomized clinical trial compared a novel cognitive-behavioral couple therapy (CBCT) and topical lidocaine for provoked vestibulodynia. Method: Participants were 108 women (M age = 27.06) and their partners randomized to one of two treatments and assessed at pre- and post-treatment and 6-month follow-up via questionnaires pertai...
Article
Intimacy is vital to romantic relationships, yet is often thwarted by relational challenges, such as sexual difficulties. With prevalence estimates ranging from 10% to 28%, genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder (GPPPD) is an important sexual problem resulting in negative consequences for affected women and their partners, including significant se...
Article
People's beliefs about how to maintain sexual satisfaction have been associated with how they navigate sexual differences, but research has yet to explore the consequences of these beliefs for couples facing a distressing sexual issue. The current research extends past work on sexual growth beliefs (i.e., the view that sexual satisfaction requires...
Article
Background The Maternal and Partner Sex During Pregnancy Scales (MSP/PSP) are self-report measures of expectant couples’ attitudes towards sex during pregnancy. Aim This study aimed to examine dyadic non-independence of MSP/PSP scores in a sample of expectant couples, while providing an evaluation of factor structure, validity, and reliability of...
Article
Full-text available
A large number of partnered individuals regularly use or are in a relationship with someone who uses pornography. However, knowledge concerning the association between pornography use and partnered sexual health-sexual satisfaction, distress, and function-is fragmentary. The current study used an event-level dyadic design to examine the association...
Article
Background The transition to parenthood is associated with changes to new parents’ mood and sexual health. Sexual dysfunction—problems with sexual function accompanied by sexual distress (i.e., worries and concerns about one’s sex life)—is linked to poorer overall health, yet few studies have examined how sexual dysfunction unfolds for couples duri...
Article
Background Pain is a risk factor for postpartum depression (PPD) and labour epidural analgesia (LEA) may lower the incidence of PPD. We evaluated depressive symptoms risk at three, six, and 12 months postpartum in women with LEA compared with women without LEA.Methods With ethics approval, hypotheses were tested using data from a longitudinal prosp...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the many sexual concerns experienced by new parents, and their reported desire for more information on this topic, both parents and healthcare providers remain reticent to broach the subject. The goal of this project was to disseminate evidence-based knowledge from our prior research in a way that was accessible, engaging, and would spark f...
Article
We used a mixed-method design to examine the attributions women in mixed-gender/sex relationships make for their partner’s perceived pornography use and whether such attributions covary with women’s relationship and sexual satisfaction. A final sample of 199 women completed measures of relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and their perce...
Article
Full-text available
New mothers often experience significant declines in their sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to pre-pregnancy, yet there has been limited research examining protective factors. Intimacy—defined as the degree of disclosure and perceived partner responsiveness in a relationship—has been identified as contributing to the positive adjustmen...
Article
Most first-time parents experience novel concerns about their sexuality such as worries about the effects of labor and delivery on their sex lives. The link between postpartum depressive symptoms and problems with sexual function is bidirectional; however, associations with postpartum sexual concerns (i.e., worries about one's sexuality that are no...
Article
Background: The experience of distressing low sexual interest/arousal-female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD)-is prevalent in women of all ages and is associated with poorer sexual, relationship, and psychological well-being than women without this difficulty. Women who are partnered are almost 5 times more likely to be distressed by low d...
Article
Background: Changes in sexual well-being are common for new mothers and their partners after the birth of a baby. However, most research has sampled mothers not couples, assessed only one aspect of sexual well-being, and has not included a control sample of couples. Aim: This study aimed to compare the sexual well-being (ie, sexual frequency, se...
Article
Sexual well-being is an important contributor to romantic relationship quality, health, and quality of life, yet couples face significant disruptions to their sexuality during the transition to parenthood. While there is evidence of variability in the sexual well-being of new parents, distinct classes of dyadic trajectories have not been establishe...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Emotion regulation is a key contributor to social functioning and mental health; yet, its influence on sexual well-being has only recently gained research attention. To elucidate correlates of women’s sexual satisfaction, desire, frequency, function, and distress and guide future study, the present review evaluates research at the...
Chapter
The psychosocial assessment should focus on the following areas: overview of the presenting complaint, including pain, sexual function, satisfaction and distress, mood, impact on relationship, and previous treatments and outcomes; cognitive, affective, behavioral, and relational contributors; and the role of past experiences, such as childhood vict...
Chapter
Psychological treatments for vulvodynia are among the most studied and center on cognitive behavioral approaches delivered in group, couple, and individual formats. Validated through randomized clinical trials (RCTs), they aim to reduce pain, restore both partners' sexual function and satisfaction, as well as strengthen the romantic relationship. P...
Chapter
Historically, psychosocial factors in vulvodynia have been neglected in comparison to biomedical contributors, despite widespread acknowledgment that pain of all kinds including vulvodynia is biopsychosocial in nature. The authors have proposed the Interpersonal emotion regulation model of women's sexual dysfunction for conceptualizing the contribu...
Article
Pornography use is now considered a normative sexual activity, including for partnered individuals. Although there are documented positive and negative effects of pornography use on romantic relationships, studies to date suffer from key limitations, narrowing their clinical relevance. Most rely on vague recall measurement that may inadequately cap...
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
Although facilitative and negative partner responses are known to impact couples’ adaptation to provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), a chronic genito-pelvic pain condition, it is still unknown what leads individuals to adopt or perceive such adaptative or detrimental behaviors. Attachment influences sexual and relationship adjustment, emotional reactivit...
Article
The Sexual Distress Scale (SDS) can be used to assess sexual distress in women, men, and prostate cancer (PCa) survivors. Despite its strong psychometric properties, researchers and clinicians could benefit from a short form of the scale. Two studies were conducted to develop (Study 1) and validate (Study 2) a short form of the SDS (SDS-SF) using s...
Article
Objective: The postpartum period is a vulnerable time for sexual health, yet the relationship between biopsychosocial factors and sexual function over time remains unclear. Our aim was to identify trajectories of postpartum sexual function in first-time mothers (N = 646) and examine associations with biopsychosocial factors. Methods: Biopsychoso...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Robust evidence suggests children’s catastrophizing about their own pain is a risk factor for poor child pain‐related outcomes. In children of parents with chronic pain, child catastrophizing about their parents’ pain might be a unique predictor of child pain‐related outcomes given their increased exposure to parental chronic pain and dis...
Article
In most long-term romantic relationships, partners experience sexual conflicts of interest in which one partner declines the other partner's sexual advances. We investigated the distinct ways people reject a partner's advances (i.e., with reassuring, hostile, assertive, and deflecting behaviors) in Studies 1 and 2. Using cross-sectional (Study 3) a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review To review recently published literature on vulvodynia classification, comorbidities, chronicity, and interpersonal factors, and to outline critical gaps between research findings and clinical practice. Recent Findings The classification of vulvodynia varies in terms of its specificity and degree of focus on pain and psychosocial...
Article
Background For couples coping with provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), interpersonal sexual goals are associated with sexual and psychological functioning as well as women’s pain during intercourse, however, self-focused sexual goals (eg, having sex for personal pleasure, having sex to avoid feeling bad about oneself) have not been studied in this clini...
Article
Postpartum pain during intercourse is a prevalent and distressing problem that has substantial consequences for affected couples. Partner perceptions—such as how partners perceive women's pain self-efficacy—contribute to an individual's pain experience. This study examined whether partners under- or over-estimate women's intercourse pain self-effic...
Article
Introduction: Chronic vulvar pain is a multidimensional condition with great variability in clinical presentation among affected women. In a companion article, part 1, we reviewed and recommended assessment and measurement tools for vulvar pain and related outcomes with a view toward improving consistency and comparison across studies. Yet methodo...
Article
Introduction: The etiology and consequences of chronic vulvar pain are multidimensional, resulting in highly variable clinical presentations and no established treatment algorithm. Inconsistent use of measurement tools across studies is a significant barrier to drawing conclusions regarding etiology and treatment. In a companion paper, we review a...
Article
Full-text available
Female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) is associated with psychological, relational, and sexual consequences for affected women, and their romantic partners also suffer repercussions. Prior research suggests that women with FSIAD report more difficulties with emotion regulation than controls. Yet, whether emotion regulation is associated w...
Article
Introduction: Pain during vaginal intercourse in pregnancy has largely been ignored despite physiological and psychological components of pregnancy that may be associated with its onset and persistence. Aim: The current study aimed to determine the prevalence and the characteristics of clinically significant pain during intercourse in the second...
Article
Regular positive sexual interactions are one reason why relationships have health and well-being benefits, yet low sexual desire is among the most common sexual problems reported by women. One interpersonal factor that has been associated with greater sexual desire and satisfaction in community couples is self-expansion (i.e., expanding one’s sense...
Article
Full-text available
Background/objective: The transition to parenthood encompasses several psychological and relational changes that might contribute to couples' high levels of stress postpartum. Although common across the postpartum, couples' sexual changes are frequently overlooked. Method: We surveyed 255 mixed-sex new parent couples to examine the associations...
Article
Full-text available
Women coping with female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) report lower sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to healthy controls. In community samples, high sexual communal strength (i.e., the motivation to meet a partner's sexual needs) is associated with higher sexual desire and satisfaction, but high unmitigated sexual communion...
Article
Children of parents with chronic pain have higher rates of pain and internalizing (e.g., anxiety, depressive) symptoms than children of parents without chronic pain. Parental modeling of pain behaviour and reinforcement of child pain have been hypothesized to underlie these relationships. These mechanisms were tested in a sample of 72 parents with...
Article
A lack of interest in sex is a common sexual issue, especially among women, and can be associated with lower relationship satisfaction and greater psychological distress. Research on sexual motivation has demonstrated that in both community and clinical samples, people higher in sexual communal strength (motivated to meet their partner’s sexual nee...
Article
Partner responsiveness is thought to facilitate relationship adjustment in couples coping with genito-pelvic pain, such as provoked vestibulodynia (PVD). Recent studies suggest that attachment and depressive symptoms may act as a filter in the perception of partner responsiveness, and a barrier to the capacity of being responsive to a partner. Give...
Article
Sexual communication promotes sexual and relationship well-being. Previous research has frequently neglected couples’ communication that occurs exclusively during sexual activity, and that is specific to that sexual interaction (i.e., sexual talk). We examined associations between individualistic and mutualistic (i.e., self- and other-focused) sexu...
Article
Vulvodynia is a chronic vulvovaginal pain condition with a prevalence of 8% in population samples. It is associated with significant negative psychological and sexual consequences for affected women and their partners. Unfortunately, vulvodynia is often misdiagnosed or ignored by health professionals. Epidemiological studies indicate that only 60%...
Article
Vulvodynia is a common, recurrent, vulvar pain condition with debilitating consequences for affected women’s health and quality of life. The heterogeneity of women suffering from vulvodynia as well as its uncertain and likely multifactorial etiology pose a significant challenge to identifying any kind of “gold standard” treatment. Thus, treatment p...
Article
Introduction: Women diagnosed with female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) report lower health-related quality of life, more depressive symptoms, and lower sexual and relationship satisfaction compared with healthy control subjects. Despite the impact of FSIAD on women's sexuality and the inherently interpersonal nature of the sexual probl...
Article
Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), a common cause of women’s genitopelvic pain, is associated with poorer psychological and sexual well-being in affected couples. Greater sexual contingent self-worth (CSW)—defined as self-esteem that is dependent on the perceived success or failure of a sexual relationship—has been linked to poorer well-being in a cros...
Article
Researchers and clinicians alike widely acknowledge the inherently interpersonal nature of women’s sexual dysfunctions given that both partners impact and are impacted by these difficulties. Yet theoretical models for understanding the role of interpersonal factors in women’s sexual dysfunctions are severely lacking and have the potential to guide...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for genito-pelvic pain targets the reduction of pain and the improvement of sexual function/satisfaction. CBT has the additional advantage of being amenable to group and couple formats. However, guidelines for the choice of format have not been specified in the literature. The present review aime...
Article
Full-text available
Contingent self-worth (CSW; the pursuit of self-esteem via a particular domain in one’s life) impacts well-being based on one’s perceived success or failure in the contingent domain. In a community sample, individuals with sexual problems reported greater sexual CSW—self-worth dependent on maintaining a sexual relationship—than those without proble...
Article
Most first-time mothers experience a decline in both their sexual and relationship satisfaction from prepregnancy, which has negative consequences for the couple and their family. Prior studies have begun to identify risk and protective factors (e.g., empathy) for postpartum sexual and relationship satisfaction. Causal attributions for postpartum s...
Chapter