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 cross-sectional study of couples coping with PVD.
This study aimed to examine whether daily sexual distress mediated the associations between greater sexual CSW and lower sexual satisfaction and greater anxiety, depressed mood, and women’s pain in affected couples. Women (N = 125) diagnosed with PVD and their partners completed the Sexual CSW Scale and then online daily surveys for eight weeks measuring sexual distress, sexual satisfaction, anxiety, depressed mood, and women’s pain during intercourse.
Multilevel analyses were based on the actor–partner interdependence model (APIM). For women who had higher sexual CSW (compared to lower sexual CSW), on sexual activity days when their sexual distress was higher, they reported lower sexual satisfaction and greater anxiety, depressed mood, and pain (compared to their average level across all sexual activity days).
Findings suggest that daily sexual distress may be one pathway between greater sexual CSW and poorer day-to-day well-being in women with PVD.
Glowacka, M., Bergeron, S., Delisle, I. and Rosen, N. (2018). Sexual distress mediates the associations between sexual contingent self-worth and well-being in women with genitopelvic pain: a dyadic daily experience study.The Journal of Sex Research. DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2018.1525334.
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