Effects of social anxiety and depressive symptoms on the frequency and quality of sexual activity: A daily process approach

Tood B. Kashdan , Leah M. Adams , Antonina Savostyanova , Patty Ferssizidis , Patrick E. Mcknight , John Nezlek


Diminished positive experiences and events might be part of the phenomenology of social anxiety; however, much of this research is cross-sectional by design, limiting our understanding of the everyday lives of socially anxious people. Sexuality is a primary source of positive experiences. We theorized that people with elevated social anxiety would have relatively less satisfying sexual experiences compared to those who were not anxious. For 21 days, 150 college students described their daily sexual episodes. Social anxiety was negatively related to the pleasure and feelings of connectedness experienced when sexually intimate. The relationship between social anxiety and the amount of sexual contact differed between men and women—it was negative for women and negligible for men. Being in a close, intimate relationship enhanced the feelings of connectedness during sexual episodes for only individuals low in social anxiety. Depressive symptoms were negatively related to the amount of sexual contact, and the pleasure and feelings of connectedness experienced when sexually intimate. Controlling for depressive symptoms did not meaningfully change the social anxiety effects on daily sexuality. Our findings suggest that fulfilling sexual activity is often compromised by social anxiety.
Author Tood B. Kashdan
Tood B. Kashdan,,
, Leah M. Adams
Leah M. Adams,,
, Antonina Savostyanova
Antonina Savostyanova,,
, Patty Ferssizidis
Patty Ferssizidis,,
, Patrick E. Mcknight
Patrick E. Mcknight,,
, John Nezlek (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu)
John Nezlek,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu
Journal seriesBehaviour Research and Therapy, ISSN 0005-7967, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2011
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishSocial anxiety; Depression; Sexuality; Pleasure; Need to belong; Positive emotion
ASJC Classification2738 Psychiatry and Mental health; 3203 Clinical Psychology; 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Languageen angielski
Nezlek J._Effects of social_art_2011.pdf 58.91 KB
Not used for evaluationyes
Score (nominal)0
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2011 = 1.6; WoS Impact Factor: 2011 = 3.295 (2) - 2011=4.133 (5)
Citation count*79 (2021-01-15)
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