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The Association Between Daily Stress and Sexual Activity

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The Association Between Daily Stress and Sexual Activity

Abstract

Research has shown that stressors and experienced stress are negatively correlated with sexual activity (i.e., behavior and satisfaction) within couples. Thus far, most studies have been cross-sectional and report correlations only. This study is one of the first to examine the covariation between self-perceived stress and daily sexual activity within a time period of 3 months by collecting data on stress, sexual activity, sexual satisfaction, and sexual fulfillment as well as individual and dyadic coping. The association among these variables was tested in a multilevel model that included cyclical terms to capture the regular variation of sexual behavior over the days of the week. One hundred and three female students completed questionnaires and diaries 12 times during a 3-month period just prior to a major exam. Findings suggest that higher self-reported stress in daily life was associated with lower levels of sexual activity and satisfaction and a decrease in relationship satisfaction. In addition, dyadic coping was positively associated with sexual outcomes but did not moderate the association of experienced stress and sexuality. Implications for sexuality research in close relationships and methods for studying cyclical processes are discussed. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.
... However, only few studies have assessed such associations (Kleinstäuber, 2017); yet, studies point to the general importance of affectionate touch in relationships for both psychological, relational and physical wellbeing (Jakubiak and Feeney, 2017;Debrot et al., 2020). Finally, couples' perceptions of how they deal with stress as a couple, more specifically, their satisfaction with their dyadic coping, may influence sexual activity (Bodenmann et al., 2010). ...
... Secondly, patients' and partners' satisfaction with their dyadic coping, i.e., their overall evaluation of how they deal with stress as a couple, was positively associated with sexual activity. This is in line with results of a previous study among university students that also suggested an association between dyadic coping and sexual activity (Bodenmann et al., 2010). High scores on dyadic coping satisfaction may be an indicator of Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org ...
... a well-functioning relationship (Falconier et al., 2015). Satisfaction with dyadic coping may also indicate lower stress levels, as the couple is coping well, and this can positively affect sexual activity (Bodenmann et al., 2010). The baseline findings for the relationship-related variables may underscore the relevance of a positive relationship experience for a couple to engage in sexual activity, which has also been shown in studies based on the general population (Kleinstäuber, 2017). ...
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Objective Breast cancer may profoundly affect a couple’s sex life. The present study examines whether patient-, partner- and relationship-related characteristics are associated with sexual activity of couples following breast cancer diagnosis in the treatment phase and over time. Methods Women with breast cancer and their male cohabiting partners participated in a longitudinal study in Denmark. Logistic regression was used to examine associations of patient-, partner- and relationship-related characteristics at baseline (≤4 months following surgery) with couples’ sexual activity at baseline, 5 and 12 months later. The longitudinal analyses were stratified for couples’ sexual activity status at baseline. Results A total of 722, 533 and 471 couples were included in the analyses at baseline, 5- and 12-months follow-up, respectively. Older age, depressive symptoms and lower vitality of patients were associated with lower odds of couples’ sexual activity at baseline; chemotherapy treatment and older age of patients were associated with lower odds at 5-months follow-up in couples who were not sexually active at baseline. Higher ratings of emotional closeness, affectionate behavior and satisfaction with dyadic coping were associated with higher odds for sexual activity at baseline and over time in couples who were sexually active at baseline. Conclusion Sexual counseling during cancer treatment and rehabilitation should include a couple perspective. Relationship-related variables may be a protective factor for remaining sexually active after breast cancer diagnosis. Interventions could focus on strengthening these factors. Health professionals also need to consider the patients’ breast cancer treatment, vitality, and emotional distress in counselling on sexuality.
... In contrast, it may be less helpful for expectant parents, and mothers especially, to hold stronger sexual destiny beliefs because this may elicit fewer effective behaviors (e.g., avoidance, distraction) during a time of novel perinatal changes that impact women's sexual well-being to a greater degree. Targeting sexual growth and destiny beliefs early in pregnancy may be crucial to mitigating their consequences as these kinds of coping behaviors have been implicated in the sexual and relationship adjustment of couples (Bodenmann et al., 2010;Kraemer et al., 2011), including new parents (Alves et al., 2018;Goldberg et al., 2010). Importantly, how one partner manages a shared stressor, such as new parenthood, is in turn associated with the well-being of the other member of the couple (Lee & Roberts, 2018;Peterson et al., 2008). ...
... These findings are consistent with a cross-sectional study that found when new mothers endorsed stronger sexual destiny beliefs, they and their partners reported lower relationship satisfaction (Maxwell et al., 2017). Past research indicates that destiny beliefs are associated with unhelpful coping behaviors, such as avoidance and distraction (Bohns et al., 2015;Sutherland & Rehman, 2018), which may interfere with relationship maintaining (e.g., supportive coping) behaviors that are associated with sexual well-being (Bodenmann et al., 2010;Jones et al., 2018). ...
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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 these beliefs impact how couples manage sexual stressors and may have implications for their sexual well-being. In a longitudinal dyadic study, we examined whether couples’ sexual growth beliefs (e.g., beliefs that sexual problems can be resolved through effort) and sexual destiny beliefs (e.g., beliefs that sexual problems reflect incompatibility with their partner) correspond with changes to various facets of couples’ sexual well-being over time. First-time parent couples (N = 203) completed online surveys assessing these beliefs in pregnancy (32 weeks) and measures of sexual well-being (satisfaction, desire, and distress) in pregnancy (20 and 32 weeks) and across the postpartum period (3, 6, 9, 12 months). Dyadic latent growth curve models showed that expectant mothers who reported stronger sexual destiny beliefs in pregnancy reported higher sexual distress and lower sexual satisfaction at 3 months postpartum. When partners reported stronger sexual destiny beliefs in pregnancy, both they and new mothers reported greater sexual desire at 3 months postpartum. Unexpectedly, partners’ higher sexual growth beliefs in pregnancy predicted mothers’ lower sexual desire at 3 months postpartum. Sexual growth and destiny beliefs were not associated with change in couples’ sexual well-being beyond 3 months postpartum. Findings shed light on the potential benefits and costs of sexual growth and destiny beliefs for couples’ sexual well-being early in the postpartum period, but not over time.
... For example, gendered social roles often discourage the explicit expression of sexual desire by women (Leiblum, 2002;van Anders, 2013) and encourage inflated reports of sexual desire by men (Murray, 2018); thus, feminine and masculine sex-role identification may lead to differences in how women and men report sexual desire for a long-term partner on self-report measures. Likewise, other cognitive and emotional experiences, such as high stress, low self-esteem, negative mood, and/or depressive symptoms may downregulate sexual desire (Bodenmann et al., 2010). Given these factors are more commonly experienced by women (e.g., Kessler et al., 2005;Meltzer & McNulty, 2010), it is possible that they underlie sex differences in sexual desire for one's partner. ...
Article
One challenge many marital couples face is that they experience discrepant levels of sexual desire for one another. Such discrepancies are particularly likely to arise in mixed-sex relationships because, at least in long-term relationships, men tend to have higher levels of sexual desire for their partner than do women. But what underlies this sex difference? We used a dyadic study of 100 mixed-sex community-based newlywed spouses to investigate the role of biological, relational, cognitive, and emotional factors in explaining sex differences in dyadic sexual desire for a long-term partner. Consistent with predictions, wives on average reported lower daily sexual desire for their spouse than did husbands. Moreover, individual differences in men’s and women’s levels of circulating testosterone explained this sex difference whereas relational (marital satisfaction, commitment), cognitive (sex-role identification, stress, self-esteem), and emotional (mood, depressive symptoms) factors did not. These findings advance our knowledge of factors that influence dyadic sexual desire and may have practical implications for treating relationship distress in mixed-sex marriages.
... Thus, subjective response to COVID-19 (i.e., COVID-19-related distress) may help to explain differential impacts of stressor exposure on relationships. Prior work has shown that psychological distress adversely impacts relationship functioning, including aspects such as physical intimacy; specifically, self-reported subjective stress has been shown to be associated with less sexual activity, lower sexual satisfaction, and less overall relationship satisfaction (Bodenmann et al., 2010). When thinking about distress in the context of COVID-19, we chose to specifically focus on relationship variables that incorporate aspects of closeness, including physical and emotional closeness, as well as loneliness broadly, because of mitigation policies that have reduced the ability to maintain social contact. ...
Article
Introduction: COVID-19 has had a profound impact on relationship functioning, though effects have been heterogeneous. Reasons for divergent effects on relationship functioning remain unclear. Theoretical models suggest that it is not just stress exposure that leads to adverse relationships outcomes, but also subjective response to these stressors. Using data from a 14-day intensive longitudinal study of romantic dyads, we hypothesized that COVID-19-related distress would adversely impact one’s own and one’s partner’s report of relationship functioning, on average. Interdependence at the trait level (random effects between couples) and day level (residuals within couples) was also examined. Methods: Participants were 104 female-male romantic couples cohabiting the New York metropolitan area ( M age = 28.86, SD age = 7.69) between August 2020 – April 2021. Couples reported COVID-19 distress during a baseline interview and daily relationship functioning for 14 days. Multilevel models were specified for six outcomes simultaneously: female and male partner daily physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, and loneliness. Interrelationships of the intercepts of the six outcomes were specified, reflecting trait-level associations of each partner’s stable outcome tendencies. Interrelationships of the daily residuals of the six outcomes were also specified, reflecting within-couple associations at the daily level. Results: Female partner COVID-19 distress was inversely associated with her own emotional and physical intimacy and positively associated with her own and her partner’s loneliness. Male COVID-19 distress was associated with his own loneliness only. There was significant interdependence at both levels, such that greater loneliness in either partner was associated with less intimacy in each member of the couple. Discussion: Only one partner effect for COVID-19 distress emerged, such that female partner distress was associated with male partner loneliness; however, trait- and day-level interdependence suggested that distress may adversely impact relational well-being over time. Future studies should examine reciprocal relationships between COVID-19-related distress and relationship functioning.
... Many of our participants expressed a negative relationship between their levels of stress and their ability to relax in order to become aroused. This is not an uncommon finding as the relationship between stress and decreases in sexual desire and activity is well documented (Bodenmann et al., 2010;Raisanen et al., 2018). (López, 2020;Smith, 2020;Paul, 2020). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted dynamics of sexual health, including sexual subjectivity, or the way in which someone thinks of themself as a sexual being and feels entitled to pleasure. This study examines how adults in the US perceive changes in their sexual subjectivity related to the pandemic. We conducted an online survey ( N = 326), and included thematic analyses related to open-ended questions. The following themes emerged: intentional self-reflection, control of change, control of perspective, control of relationships, control of communication, and control of sexual behavior. Our findings have implications for psychological and public health approaches. We find large overlap of “capacity and engagement in self-reflection” across other themes. The implications and durability of these changes are unknown.
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Implemented social distancing measures may have forestalled the spread of COVID-19, yet they suppressed the natural human need for contact. The aim of this systematic review was to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adult sexual wellbeing and sexual behavior. An extensive search in Pubmed, Scopus, and PsycInfo databases based on PRISMA guidelines was conducted. After applying specific eligibility criteria, screening resulted in 38 studies. Results were drawn from 31,911 subjects and outlined the negative effect of the pandemic in sexual frequency, function, satisfaction, and the behavioral changes regarding masturbation and internet-based practices. Meta-analyses of the drawn data on 1,343 female, and 1,372 male subjects quantified the degree of sexual function change during the COVID-19 pandemic vs. prior the pandemic. A random effects model revealed the significant negative impact of the pandemic on female sexual function (SMD: 0.76, 95% CI:0.74 to 1.59), while no significant change was found for the males (SMD: 0.25, 95% Cl: −0.03 to 0.52). Significant heterogeneity was identified across included studies ( p < 0.00001, I ² = 97%, I ² = 90% for females and males, respectively). As part of the global health, sexual wellbeing should be on the focus of clinicians and researchers.
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Stress has been suggested as a contributing factor in the etiology and progression of hypertension in prior investigations. For a more comprehensive understanding of this concept, in this study, we aim to evaluate different domains of perceived stress and their possible contribution to the development of hypertension (HTN). This is a secondary analysis of the Isfahan Cohort Study (ICS). We used data from 2007 and 2013. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and Stressful Life Events Questionnaire (SLEQ) were used to evaluate psychological distress and perceived stress in subjects, and a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) was used to assess their association with HTN. Psychological distress had a significant positive relation with HTN that remained after full adjustment for other covariates. Individuals with high stress levels were 38% more likely to develop HTN (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.18, 1.59). After full adjustment, total perceived stress was significantly associated with a 15% increase in HTN development (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.01–1.29). Domains of perceived stress that were significantly associated with HTN independent of sociodemographic and lifestyle covariates were job conflict, job security, personal conflict, sexual life and daily life in both genders and financial problems in males (P < 0.01). The findings from this study underline the importance of identifying the effect of different sources of perceived stress to organize community-based strategies for the management of hypertension and help health professionals prioritize and efficiently allocate their resources for interventions. Different perceived stress domains were significantly associated with increase in hypertention.
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Background Inflammation has been linked to a variety of mental and physical health outcomes that disproportionately impact women, and which can impair sexual function; thus, there is reason to expect a link between inflammation and women's sexual functioning. Aim To test the hypothesis that higher concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), a general biomarker of inflammation, would predict women's lower sexual desire. Method As 2 independent research teams, we conducted 3 separate studies (total n = 405) that assessed salivary CRP and various measurements of sexual desire in different women populations. Outcomes Female Sexual Function Index, Sexual Desire Inventory-2, Decreased Sexual Desire Screener, and Sexual Interest and Desire Inventory. Results Regardless of the way sexual desire was measured (e.g., state vs trait; general desire vs. desire functioning) and the population sampled (i.e., healthy vs. clinically diagnosed with sexual dysfunction), all the studies revealed null results. Clinical Implications While exploratory, the convergence of these null results across studies and researchers suggests that if there is an association between inflammation and women's sexual desire, it is likely very subtle. Strengths & Limitations Across 2 independent research teams, 3 unrelated studies, and various measurements of sexual desire, results were consistent. These points lend to the generalizability of the results. However, study designs were cross-sectional. Conclusions Future research may reveal (i) a non-linear threshold effect, such that inflammation does not begin to impact women's sexual desire until it is at a high level, (ii) inflammatory biomarkers other than CRP might be more sensitive in detecting associations between inflammation and desire, should they exist, or (iii) the mechanisms underlying sexual dysfunction may differ between sexes. Clephane K, et al. Lack of Evidence for a Relationship Between Salivary CRP and Women's Sexual Desire: An Investigation Across Clinical and Healthy Samples. J Sex Med 2021;XX:XXX–XXX.
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Study question: How did the sexual frequency change and what are the related influencing factors among infertile Chinese couples over the past 10 years? Summary answer: Sexual frequency has declined among infertile Chinese couples over the past decade, with such declines being most pronounced for women between the ages of 18 and 39. What is known already: Many researchers have explored trends in coital frequency and variables associated among healthy individuals in other nations. There have been major changes in all aspects of Chinese life and society over the past decade, including two major fertility policy adjustments. The sexual habits of infertile couples in China remain poorly understood and warrant further investigation. Study design, size, duration: A retrospective cohort study of 51 150 infertile couples that visited our facility between January 2011 and December 2020 at a tertiary care academic medical centre. Participants/materials, setting, methods: The primary outcome for this study was whether couples had engaged in sexual intercourse ≤4 times/month or >4 times/month. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to detect the association between the variables and sexual frequency. Analyses were further performed to determine whether observed trends remained evident in women from different age subgroups. To assess whether these trends differed before and after the introduction of the universal two-child policy in China (January 2016), we additionally assessed trends in these age subgroups of women relative to the time at which this policy was introduced. Main results and the role of chance: The proportion of couples reporting having engaged in sexual intercourse >4 times/month fell over the past decade from 62.7% (2011-2013) to 55.9% (2014-2015) to 52.7% (2016-2020). Declines in sexual frequency were evident for women between the ages of 18 and 39 (P < 0.05), whereas no such changes were evident for women between the ages of 40 and 50. Younger men and women, as well as individuals with a less than junior college education level, reported higher frequencies of sexual intercourse. For women, being remarried and having a more recent diagnosis of infertility were associated with increased coital frequency. This frequency decreased progressively for women as BMI values increased. There was no detected relationship between coital frequency and nationality or history of prior births. Limitations, reasons for caution: These analyses were dependent on self-reported data, and may thus have been impacted by the over- or under-reporting of sexual frequency as a consequence of social desirability bias. In addition, not all potentially relevant variables were assessed in all analyses, and certain potentially relevant variables such as family income or pornography use were not measured in any analyses. Wider implications of the findings: Sexual frequency is closely related to infertility risks. This general downward trend in sexual frequency may warrant concern. At present, these reductions remain an interesting yet unexplained topic worthy of further study. Study funding/competing interest(s): This study was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant no. 2018YFC1003000) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 81771533). The authors declare no conflict of interest. Trial registration number: N/A.
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The accumulated evidence maps the COVID-19 pandemic’s diverse impacts on sexual and reproductive health (SRH); however, the precise changes in sexual behaviours and the underlying causes producing these changes are rarely considered. This study is aimed at assessing the changes in sexual behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, using quantitative methods, and it is also aimed at identifying the underlying reasons, using qualitative methods. It is a part of the broader I-SHARE project, which administered a cross-sectional online survey in 33 countries to describe the effects of the COVID-19 restrictions on different aspects of SRH. In the current study, a total of 611 adults from Germany are included. The findings demonstrate a decline in sexual satisfaction, as well as increases in sexual problems and partnership conflicts. Furthermore, the findings indicate an increase in pornography consumption and masturbation. Psychological stress, due to the pandemic, seemed to be the main reason for the changes in the participants’ sexual behaviours, followed by a decrease in social contacts, and an increase in time resources. Thus, it is important to provide accessible clinical and psychosocial (online) interventions and services in order to maintain good sexual health in times of pandemic.
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This study extended the Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction (IEMSS) to short-term dating relationships. The IEMSS has been shown to have excellent validity for long-term heterosexual relationships. The IEMSS proposes that sexual satisfaction is greater to the extent that, over time, relationship satisfaction is high, levels of sexual rewards exceed levels of sexual costs, relative sexual reward levels exceed relative sexual cost levels, and interpersonal equality of sexual rewards and of sexual costs are perceived to exist. Fifty-one college men and 57 college women in a dating relationship of 3 to 36 months participated in the study. As predicted, more sexually satisfied individuals reported greater relationship satisfaction, a more favorable reward/cost ratio, a more favorable relative reward/relative cost ratio, and more equal rewards and costs between partners. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that relationship satisfaction, the difference between relative rewards, relative costs and cost equality made unique contributions to the prediction of sexual satisfaction, accounting for 75 percent of the variance in sexual satisfaction. The model was shown to work equally well for men and women, for individuals new and less new to their relationship, and for high and low self-disclosers. The IEMSS offers a promising approach for investigating and understanding sexual satisfaction.
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We show how to use logistic regression in situations where the phenomenon under consideration is periodic, i.e., follows a cyclic pattern. The method is illustrated by using data for the Snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum, which exhibits a 24-hr periodic pattern of foraging. Snails are found on the top or bottom of rocks, depending on time of day. We show how periodic logistic regression models can be fitted simultaneously to several groups of data, taking into account that the groups may exhibit similar (but not identical) cyclic patterns. The proposed procedure is applicable to ecological studies that analyze the variability in a dichotomous response variable exhibiting a cyclic pattern over time.
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Previous research on multiple role stress has hypothesized the existence of two types of stress contagion: spillover, in which the stresses experienced in either the work or home domain lead to stresses in the other domain; and crossover, in which the stresses experienced by one's spouse at work lead to stresses for oneself at home. However, empirical evidence of these processes has been largely indirect and qualitative. This study provides the first direct quantitative evidence on the causal dynamics of stress contagion across work and home domains in married couples. Contrary to previous thinking, results indicate that husbands are more likely than their wives to bring their home stresses into the workplace. Also, stress contagion from work to home was evident for both husbands and wives. Furthermore, the contagion of work stress into the home sets in motion a process of dyadic adjustment, whereby individuals, particularly wives, appear to modify their housework efforts to compensate for the work stresses of their spouses. Such findings provide important insights into the dynamics of gender differences in role stress and confirm the value of studying chronic stress processes at the level of analysis where such stresses are inevitably manifest—in day-to-day events and activities.
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Context While recent pharmacological advances have generated increased public interest and demand for clinical services regarding erectile dysfunction, epidemiologic data on sexual dysfunction are relatively scant for both women and men. Objective To assess the prevalence and risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction across various social groups and examine the determinants and health consequences of these disorders. Design Analysis of data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, a probability sample study of sexual behavior in a demographically representative, 1992 cohort of US adults. Participants A national probability sample of 1749 women and 1410 men aged 18 to 59 years at the time of the survey. Main Outcome Measures Risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction as well as negative concomitant outcomes. Results Sexual dysfunction is more prevalent for women (43%) than men (31%) and is associated with various demographic characteristics, including age and educational attainment. Women of different racial groups demonstrate different patterns of sexual dysfunction. Differences among men are not as marked but generally consistent with women. Experience of sexual dysfunction is more likely among women and men with poor physical and emotional health. Moreover, sexual dysfunction is highly associated with negative experiences in sexual relationships and overall wellbeing. Conclusions The results indicate that sexual dysfunction is an important public health concern, and emotional problems likely contribute to the experience of these problems.
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This study explored how daily changes in workday pace and end-of-the-workday mood were related to nightly variations in withdrawn and angry marital behavior. For 3 days, 82 husbands and wives from 42 couples completed questionnaires at the end of the workday and at bedtime. More negatively arousing workdays were linked with angrier marital behavior for women and less angry and more withdrawn behavior for men. Daily changes in workday pace predicted fluctuations in women's, but not men's, marital behavior. Several of these workday-marital behavior connections varied by level of marital satisfaction. In contrast to the gender differences in responses to workday stress, no differences were found in typical marital behaviors. These findings suggest that gender differences are enhanced under stress.
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The authors contend that how couples cope with chronic illness may depend on who is the ill spouse--the husband or wife. Whether spouses perceive the illness as my illness or our illness has implications for coping and the provision of support. They propose that it is better for the well-being of a relationship for partners to view the illness as a relationship issue rather than an individual issue. In support of this, they present findings from two studies that address the relationship between gender and relationship talk, with samples of "healthy" couples and couples coping with a serious illness. These data present a compelling case that men and women behave differently and expect different types of support from their partners depending on whether they are in the role of the patient or the well spouse. Furthermore, which spouse--the husband or the wife--engages in relationship talk will have an impact on the relationship satisfaction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This chapter expands on the concept of dyadic stress and coping with an innovative and dynamic theory of the dyadic coping process. The author presents a typology of dyadic coping that distinguishes both positive and negative forms. This theory is supported by empirical findings on more than 1,000 couples, using multiple methods of data collection and various research designs. He investigates the questions, "How does stress affect marriage?" and "How does dyadic coping affect the relationship between stress and marital quality?" (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two samples of spouses (nondistressed partners and partners in marital therapy) were investigated regarding their satisfaction with their current sexuality using the subscale 'Sexual Satisfaction' (SZ) of the German version of the 'Marital Satisfaction Inventory' (MSI). The validity of the SZ scale in differentiating between distressed and nondistressed spouses was clearly established. About 30% of the male and 18% of the female nondistressed partners yielded scores above the mean of distressed spouses. In several items more than 50% of the nondistressed males indicated dissatisfaction with their current sexual behavior. The rank order of items did not differ between the two criterion groups, indicating quantitative but not qualitative differences in the sexual problems mentioned. Contrary to expectations, the different sexual problems and, e.g., the wish to establish an extramarital affair, did not correlate with duration of marriage or number of children. The implications for marital therapy and the prevention of marital distress are discussed.
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How do partners in close relationships integrate perceptions of specific aspects of the relationship with global evaluations of the relationship as a whole? The attributions that partners make for each other’s behaviors should moderate this process by determining whether specific behaviors have global implications. To evaluate this idea, the current study assessed attributions and daily ratings of global and specific aspects of the relationship in a sample of 82 newlywed couples. Attributions were not associated with either kind of rating directly, but hierarchical linear modeling revealed that attributions were associated with the covariance between global and specific ratings within spouses. Results suggest a mechanism to account for the longitudinal association between attributions and marital satisfaction and point out the importance of measuring global and specific perceptions of relationships independently.
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Assessed the behavioral ecology of stressful marital interaction. Each partner (aged 21–65 yrs) from 16 maritally distressed (DIS) and 16 non-DIS couples who had been married for at least 1 yr monitored the occurrence, antecedents, and consequences of stressful interactions in their relationship for 2 wks. Stressful interactions were more likely to occur in particular locations, on weekdays rather than weekends, and in association with life stress. The topics of stressful interactions were strongly associated with partners' activities prior to the interaction. The same setting variables were associated with stressful interactions in DIS and non-DIS couples. Compared with non-DIS Ss, DIS Ss were more likely to withdraw from stressful interactions and less likely to report interactions being resolved. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)