Posttraumatic Stress and Sexual Satisfaction in Husbands and Wives: A Dyadic Analysis

Rahel Bachem, Yafit Levin, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Trauma survivors who suffer from posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are known to experience impairments in sexual satisfaction. However, the negative effects of PTSS are not limited to the primary survivors, as they can lead to secondary PTSS in their spouses as well. The implications of secondary PTSS in the sexuality of couples remain unknown. This study aimed to investigate whether specific symptom clusters of PTSS (i.e., intrusions, hyperarousal, and avoidance) are implicated in the sexual satisfaction of couples. We assessed a sample of primarily exposed Israeli veterans from the Yom Kippur War and their wives who had been secondarily exposed (N = 191). The dyadic data were analyzed in an Actor–Partner Independence Model. When scrutinizing specific PTSS clusters, the husbands’ avoidance related to their own sexual satisfaction. The wives’ hyperarousal related to their own and their spouses’ sexual satisfaction, whereas their intrusions were associated only with their husbands’ sexual satisfaction. In conclusion, PTSS in one spouse is related to both spouses’ sexual satisfaction; it is therefore recommended that clinicians adopt a dyadic approach when delivering interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1543
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Dyadic analysis
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Secondary traumatization
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Veterans

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