A structural equation modeling analysis of the relationships between depression, anxiety, and sexual problems over time

Miriam K. Forbes*, Andrew J. Baillie, Carolyn A. Schniering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexual dysfunctions are related to depressive and anxiety disorders, but the nature of these relationships remains unclear. This study examined the relationship among symptoms of these disorders over time by comparing (a) a model that included causal relationships, (b) a model that accounted for change over time with a shared underlying factor (or latent liability) among all the disorders, and (c) a model that conceptualized sexual dysfunctions as unrelated to depressive and anxiety disorders over time. Participants (n = 1,012) completed online self-report measures of sexual dysfunctions and depressive and anxiety disorders across six time points at either weekly or monthly intervals. Models 1 and 2 provided equal best fit for men and women based on data collected four weeks apart, but there were no evident causal relationships in Model 1. Subsequent analyses using data collected one week and six months apart found Model 2 provided robust fit for women, but these data were not examined for men due to inadequate sample sizes. The results are consistent with a shared latent liability of internalizing psychopathology driving the change in these disorders over time, which provides a clear direction for an empirically driven nosology and for future research into transdiagnostic treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-954
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume53
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2016

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