Trajectories of Relationship and Sexual Satisafaction
Over Two Years in the Covid-19 Pandemic (Preprint)

About the Preprint

In the second article of our project Love in Times of Covid we aimed to extend the findings from our first and second article by covering the full period of the longitudinal studies, namely two years in the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The aim of this article was to identify different classes of trajectories in relationship and sexual satisfaction within two years of the pandemic that might be occluded by a focus on average patterns of change. In addition to assigning participants to trajectory groups, we investigated baseline variables, as measured at the first measurement point, that were associated with membership in trajectory groups and predictors of separation that existed in this sample.

The sample corresponds to that of article 2: only participants who agreed to participate in the longitudinal study by providing their e-mail address at the first measurement point were included (N = 2,952).

In the data analysis, we first conducted latent class analysis to determine the different patterns of trajectories in relationship and sexual satisfaction that existed in the sample and what proportion of participants belonged to each of the different classes. Subsequently, we conducted binary logistic regressions to identify which predictors (measured at T1) of class membership and separation existed in our sample.

Main Findings

According to the latent class analysis, three different patterns of trajectories over time emerged for both satisfaction measures, i.e., sexual and relationship satisfaction: a high descending class, a high fluctuating class, and a low ascending class. Despite these similar patterns, the class sizes as well as the strength of the different patterns of change were different for relationship and sexual satisfaction. 

CC BY-ND image by the Music, Emotion, Assessment, and Personality Lab

Somewhat surprisingly, our analyses showed that the trajectories of relationship and sexual satisfaction within the same individuals do not necessarily coincide. Thus, the two class memberships were only moderately related, and for 41% of participants, they did not coincide. 

Predictors of Class Memberships

Predictors of the high fluctuating classes – i.e. those classes characterized by strong fluctuations during the pandemic – were mainly non-cohabitating and psychological symptoms. Individuals with children, higher levels of avoidant attachment style, and low life satisfaction were more often assigned to the low ascending class of relationship satisfaction. Predictors of the same class related to sexual satisfaction were similar, but effect sizes were much smaller. In contrast, cohabitating individuals, those with low psychological symptoms, high life satisfaction, and low avoidant attachment style were more likely to be in the high descending classes. In terms of predictors of separation, we were only able to identify female gender and non-cohabitating

Cite this Article

Vigl, J., Talamini, F., Strauss, H., & M. (2022, November 24). Trajectories of Relationship and Sexual Satisfaction Over Two Years in the Covid-19 Pandemic.