Frequent Sex ‘relationship saver’() Neurotic? Have More Sex!

Sex and Neuroticism: Frequent Sex Protects Intimates from the Negative Implications of Their Neuroticism. A robust literature documents numerous negative implications of neuroticism for romantic relationships. The current study was the first to demonstrate necessary information regarding how couples can protect against these implications.  Given the role of negative affect in the association between neuroticism and relationship difficulties, and given the role of sex in reducing negative affect, the current 8-wave longitudinal study of 72 newlywed couples tested the prediction that sexual frequency would moderate the association between neuroticism and marital satisfaction. Lagged multilevel

modeling analyses supported this prediction. Specifically, although neuroticism was negatively associated with changes in marital satisfaction among spouses engaging in less frequent sex over the prior 6 months, neuroticism was unrelated to changes in satisfaction among spouses reporting more frequent sex over the prior 6 months. These findings join others in highlighting the importance of considering the broader context of the relationship to developing a complete understanding of relationship development.  “…OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT STUDY Nevertheless, the role of sex in protecting intimates from the negative implications of their neuroticism remains unclear. The current study drew upon data from a longitudinal study of 72 newlywed couples to more directly address this issue. All spouses reported their levels of neuroticism and marital satisfaction at baseline and then, approximately every six months for approximately the first five years of marriage, reported their levels of marital satisfaction and the frequency with which they engaged in sexual intercourse with their partners over the previous 6 months. Although we expected neuroticism to be associated with lower levels of relationship satisfaction over the course of the study on average, we predicted that these effects would be moderated by the frequency of sex reported at each assessment, such that neuroticism would be less strongly negatively associated

with marital satisfaction at times when spouses reported having engaged in more frequent sex compared to times when spouses reported having engaged in less frequent sex….”   –   “… Strengths and Limitations; Our confidence in the reported results is enhanced by a number of strengths of the design and methodology. First, the interactive effects of neuroticism and sexual frequency on marital satisfaction emerged in a sample of newlywed couples, participants for whom the outcome was real and consequential. Second, the interactive effects of neuroticism and the sexual frequency emerged on changes in marital satisfaction from one assessment to the next, averaged across eight waves of measurement, helping to rule out the alternative interpretation that relationship satisfaction caused more frequent sex among more neurotic individuals. Finally, the interactive effects of  neuroticism and sexual frequency also emerged controlling for the main and interactive effects of attachment insecurity, a strong correlate of neuroticism and relationship satisfaction, helping to rule out the alternative interpretation that the effects were spurious due to other qualities of the neurotic intimates who were having more frequent sex. Despite these strengths, several factors limit interpretations and generalizations of these findings until they can be replicated and extended. First, although the use of longitudinal data helped rule out the possibility that satisfaction predicted greater sex

among more neurotic intimates, and although the control of attachment insecurity helped rule out the possibility that other qualities of the more-neurotic intimates who has more frequent sex account for the results that emerged here, these results are correlational and thus cannot support strong causal conclusions. Second, our sample was predominantly Caucasian and Christian, somewhat limiting the ability to generalize these findings to other populations. Finally, although the dramatic changes that occur during the newlywed period offered important variability necessary to test and demonstrate our effects, they also make that period a unique one from which these findings may be less likely to generalize…”. Author: Virginia Michelle Russell was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She attended high school in Dothan, Alabama and completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is currently a National Science Foundation funded Ph.D. candidate in the experimental psychology department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Upon completion of her doctoral degree, she looks forward to a career in academia. Virginia Michelle Russell University of Tennessee – Knoxville. Publication: Masters Theses. News from:

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