Relationship satisfaction moderates the associations between male partner responses and depression in women with vulvodynia: A dyadic daily experience study

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Abstract

Summary

Targeting male partner responses and relationship satisfaction may enhance the quality of interventions aimed at reducing depression in women with vulvodynia.

Vulvodynia is a prevalent vulvovaginal pain condition that interferes with women's psychological health. Given the central role of sexuality and relationships in vulvodynia, relationship satisfaction may be an important moderator of daily partner responses to this pain and associated negative sequelae, such as depression. Sixty-nine women (M age = 28.12 years, SD = 6.68) with vulvodynia and their cohabiting partners (M age = 29.67 years, SD = 8.10) reported their daily relationship satisfaction, and male partner responses on sexual intercourse days (M = 3.74, SD = 2.47) over 8 weeks. Women also reported their depressive symptoms. Relationship satisfaction on the preceding day moderated the associations between partner responses and women's depressive symptoms in several significant ways: (1) On days after women reported higher relationship satisfaction than usual, their perception of greater facilitative male partner responses was associated with their decreased depression; (2) on days after women reported lower relationship satisfaction than usual, their perception of greater negative male partner responses was associated with their increased depression; (3) on days after men reported higher relationship satisfaction than usual, their self-reported higher negative responses were associated with decreased women's depression, and higher solicitous responses were associated with increased women's depression, whereas (4) on days after men reported lower relationship satisfaction than usual, their self-reported higher negative responses were related to increased women's depression, and higher solicitous responses were associated with decreased women's depression. Targeting partner responses and relationship satisfaction may enhance the quality of interventions aimed at reducing depression in women with vulvodynia.

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