Differentiation, negative attributions and sexual desire in committed relationships

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dc.contributor.author Dharnidharka, Prerana
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-18T16:08:07Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-18T16:08:07Z
dc.date.issued 2017-05-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/35411
dc.description.abstract Sexual desire is important to personal and relational well-being but inevitably declines over time in committed relationships. Individuals, further, commonly report times when they desire more or less sex than their partners (desire discrepancy) which is negatively associated with both relationship and sexual satisfaction. How partner’s make meaning out of (i.e., attributions about their partner’s lower desire for sex) and respond (pursue, withdraw or engage) to moments of discrepant desire is likely influenced by the extent to which partners are able to maintain a clear sense of self in the context of physical and emotional closeness (i.e., their level of differentiation), although this has yet to be tested. Through two studies, I explored the types of attributions and behaviors in response to desire discrepancies and how negative attributions and behaviors mediate the link between differentiation and sexual desire. Specifically in Study 1, I analyzed open-ended responses from 463 participants, using deductive content analysis to examine types of negative attributions and behaviors in response to moments of desire discrepancy. In Study 2, using the findings from Study 1, I developed items to quantitatively measure specific negative attributions and behaviors in response to desire discrepancies. Using a sample of 511 participants, I refined the factor structure of the Desire Discrepancy Attributions and Behaviors Scale and used a path analysis to examine how differentiation is associated with sexual desire both directly and indirectly through negative attributions, emotions, and behaviors (pursue-withdraw). Results indicated that an individual’s level of differentiation is positively associated with sexual desire and this link is significantly mediated by negative attributions and certain negative behaviors. The clinical implications and areas for future research based on the findings of this study are discussed. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject sexual desire en_US
dc.subject differentiation of self en_US
dc.subject attributions en_US
dc.subject committed relationships en_US
dc.subject intimate relationships en_US
dc.title Differentiation, negative attributions and sexual desire in committed relationships en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department School of Family Studies and Human Services en_US
dc.description.advisor Amber V. Vennum en_US
dc.date.published 2017 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US

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