The relationship between women's sexual addiction and family dynamics, depression and substance abuse

2009 2009

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Empirical investigations of sexual addiction are increasing, but there is a paucity of research regarding women (Schneider, 2004). Co-morbidity with other addictions (e.g., Carnes, 1991; Schneider, 1994) as well as depression (i.e., Meadows, 2003) has been found. Sexual addicts describe their family-of-origin as having been abusive, with low cohesion and adaptability (Carnes, 1991). Poor bonding between daughters and fathers has been suggested as a contributor to sexual addiction in women (e.g., Kasl, 1989), though it has not been empirically investigated. This study served to extend past research efforts and utilized a stepwise multiple regression analysis to investigate predictors of women's sexual addiction. The investigator sought to replicate previous data and to conduct an initial investigation of the father-daughter relationship, specifically father bonding; the hypothesis was that it would have been described by women sexual addicts as being characterized by low care and low protection. This study contains the largest sample (known by this author to date) of sexually addicted women in an empirical study utilizing the Women's Sexual Addiction Screening Test, and is the first study to provide sample reliability.

Participants included 99 self-identified sexual addicts, ages 18 to 59. Approximately 57% of the participants were in the process of, or had received treatment. Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires the way they would have "at the height of their addiction." They completed the W-SAST, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale-Second Edition, Parent Bonding Instrument, Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, Drug Addiction Screening Test, and Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition. The current sample yielded acceptable reliability for the W-SAST (α = .78). A significant positive correlation was found between sexually addicted behaviors and childhood abuse, depression and substance abuse. Perceived family cohesion and adaptability revealed a significant inverse correlation with sexually addictive behaviors. A statistically significant inverse relationship was also found between sexually addicted behaviors and father care, and a positive correlation was found with protection. Depression accounted for 28.5% of the variance, while family adaptability and drug abuse accounted for 13.8 and 4%, respectively. Additional analyses were performed and mediating relationships were found.

Indexing (details)

Behavioral psychology;
Social psychology;
Womens studies;
Clinical psychology
0384: Behavioral psychology
0451: Social psychology
0453: Womens studies
0622: Clinical psychology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Psychology; Comorbidity; Compulsive sexual behaviors; Depression; Family cohesion; Father-daughter relationship; Sexual addiction; Substance abuse; Women
The relationship between women's sexual addiction and family dynamics, depression and substance abuse
Opitz, Dawn M.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Tsytsarev, Sergei V.; Motta, Robert
Hofstra University
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.