224107 What does love have to do with it: Relationship satisfaction and sexual risk among young couples expecting a baby

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trace S. Kershaw, PhD , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Anna Arnold, MPH , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Background Sexual risk often occurs within the context of relationships, but few studies look at dyadic influences of sexual risk. Methods Preliminary analyses were conducted on data from 200 couples (N=400) from an ongoing study of 300 young expectant couples from OB-GYN clinics. The average age of women and men was 18.7 and 21.3 respectively. 77% of participants were Black or Hispanic from poor urban settings. We assessed relationship satisfaction and sexual risk behavior (concurrent partners, intention to stay faithful, sexual communication, and condom use) for both members of a couple. Dyadic analyses using multiple and logistic regression were conducted. All analyses controlled for confounders (age, race, number of children, income, and relationship duration). Results Both men and women had common predictors of relationship satisfaction including increased relationship equity (Bmen=.28, Bwomen=.44, ps<.05), lower avoidant attachment (Bmen=-.32, Bwomen=-.22, ps<.05), and less anxiety attachment of their partner (Bmen=-.14, Bwomen=-.14, ps<.05). In addition, women who were victims of physical violence had less satisfaction (B=-.17, p<.05). For women, relationship satisfaction did not relate to any sexual risk behavior (all p>.05). However, for men, those that were more satisfied with their relationship were less likely to have a concurrent partner (OR=.36, p<.05), more likely to intend to be faithful in the future (B=.24, p<.05), and had better sex communication (B=.26, p<.05) compared to men with low relationship satisfaction. Relationship satisfaction did not relate to condom use among men. Conclusion Improving relationships among young men may have a positive effect on young expectant couple's sexual risk.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe factors related to relationship satisfaction and how relationship satisfaction relates to sexual risk among young couples expecting a baby.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on the study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3275.0: Sexuality