Momentary Affective States Surrounding Sexual Intercourse in Depressed Adolescents and Young Adults
- 468 Downloads
Depressed young people may have sexual intercourse (sex) to regulate their disordered affective states. This study sought to determine how momentary positive and negative affect relate to subsequent sex events in depressed adolescents and young adults. Fifty-four outpatients (87% female) 15–22 years who reported clinically significant depressive symptoms and having sex at least once a week completed a baseline survey, then reported momentary affective states and the occurrence of sex events on a handheld computer in response to 4–6 random signals per day for 2 weeks. Participants identified 387 unique sex events (median, 3.5/participant/week) on 3,159 reports (median, signal response rate 80%). Most (86–96%) reported low burden of participation on questions asked at study completion. Similar to what has been reported in non-depressed young people, momentary positive and negative affect were both improved beginning approximately 6 h before until approximately 6 h after a sex event. Positive affect was lower in the 24 h before this pericoital period, compared to other times. Negative affect did not significantly differ between before the pericoital period and other times. The findings suggest that depressed youth may have sex to regulate their positive affect and have implications for provision of their mental and physical health care.
KeywordsAdolescents Young adults Sex behavior Affect Momentary sampling Depression
This research was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health grant R21072533 and Maternal Child Health Bureau grant T71MC00009. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Carl de Moor in study design and of Parul Aneja in data management. The authors also wish to thank the clinicians for aiding in recruitment and the participants for sharing their experiences in the service of this research.
- Achenbach, T. M. (1997). Manual for the young adult self-report and young adult behavior checklist. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Axelson, D. A., Bertocci, M. A., Lewin, D. S., Trubnick, L. S., Birmaher, B., Williamson, D. E., et al. (2003). Measuring mood and complex behavior in natural environments: Use of ecological momentary assessment in pediatric affective disorders. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 13, 253–266.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Beck, A., Steer, R., & Brown, G. (1996). BDI-II manual. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation, Harcourt Brace & Company.Google Scholar
- Clark, M. S., & Isen, A. M. (1982). Toward understanding the relationship between feeling states and social behavior. In A. Hastorf & A. M. Isen (Eds.), Cognitive social psychology (pp. 73–108). New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Craske, M. G. (2009). Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Department of Health and Human Services. (2009). Code of Federal Regulations. Title 45 Public Welfare, Part 46 Protection of Human Subjects. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.116.
- Fortenberry, J., Cecil, H., Zimet, G., & Orr, D. (1997). Concordance between self-report questionnaires and coital diaries for sexual behaviors of adolescent women with sexually transmitted infections. In J. Bancroft (Ed.), Researching sexual behavior: Methodological issues (pp. 237–257). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Freeman, M., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1986). Adolescence and its recollection: Toward an interpretive model of development. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 32, 167–185.Google Scholar
- Furman, W., & Wehner, E. A. (1994). Romantic views: Toward a theory of adolescent romantic relationships. In R. Montemayor, G. R. Adams, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Personal relationships during adolescence (pp. 168–195). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Hektner, J. M., Schmidt, J. A., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2007). Experience sampling method: Measuring the quality of everyday life. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Khan, M. R., Kaufman, J. S., Pence, B. W., Gaynes, B. N., Adimora, A. A., Weir, S. S., et al. (2009). Depression, sexually transmitted infection, and sexual risk behavior among young adults in the United States. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 163, 644–652.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Larson, R. W., Clore, G. L., & Wood, G. A. (1999). The emotions of romantic relationships: Do they wreak havoc on adolescents? In W. Furman, B. B. Brown, & C. Feiring (Eds.), The development of romantic relationships in adolescence (pp. 19–49). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Larson, R., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1983). The experience sampling method. In H. Reis (Ed.), Naturalistic approaches to studying social interactions (Vol. 15, pp. 41–56). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Mayer, J. (2001). Emotion, intelligence, and emotional intelligence. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.), Handbook of affect and social cognition (pp. 410–431). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Shiffman, S. (2000). Real-time self-report of momentary states in the natural environment: Computerized ecological momentary assessment. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Wichers, M. C., Myin-Germeys, I., Jacobs, N., Peeters, F., Kenis, G., Derom, C., et al. (2007). Evidence that moment-to-moment variation in positive emotions buffer genetic risk for depression: A momentary assessment twin study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 115, 451–457.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar