Deeper insights into the construct of sexual communication: Understanding of the role of individual and relationship factors and the development of a process model
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Successful and fulfilling intimate relationships are an integral part of overall wellbeing, and their success and meaning are determined by many factors, including sexual communication within the relationship (Byers & Demmons, 1999; Rehman et al., 2011). Despite the substantial body of research that explains the impact of sexual communication on relational and sexual functioning, less is known about the process of communicating sexual topics. Sexual communication is a complex process involving the capacity for vulnerability as well as communication and perspective-taking skills (e.g., Buluş et al., 2017). Theoretical models have important utility in both research and clinical practice, but there are few models of sexual communication that capture its multidimensional nature. The goal of the current program of research was to expand on the foundational work by Brown and Weigel (2018) to develop the Process Model of Sexual Communication (PMSC). This model explains the relationships between individual factors, relationship context factors, and the process of sexual communication and their collective impact on outcome variables such as sexual satisfaction. I conducted two separate two-part studies (total n = 373) to explore the relationships between these factors and develop the PMSC using quantitative (Studies 1a and 1b) and mixed-method (Studies 2a and 2b) approaches. The results support the multidimensional nature of sexual communication and highlight the different topics that individuals discuss with their partners. They also highlight the importance of motivations for engaging in sexual communication and how those motivations impact the other components of the model. Using these results, I constructed the PMSC and tested associations between the model components. I discuss implications for research and clinical practice as well as future directions to test the full PMSC.
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Kendra Wasson (2023). Deeper insights into the construct of sexual communication: Understanding of the role of individual and relationship factors and the development of a process model. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19745