Darling, Come Lay with Me or Talk with Me: Perceived Mattering and the Complementary Association between Sex and Communication within Marital Relationships

Haeyoung Gideon Park, Hye Won Suk, Jeong Eun Cheon, Young Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

According to the theories on interpersonal mattering, reciprocal interactions and mutual engagements facilitate the formation of interpersonal mattering within relationships. However, the theoretical framework on mattering has rarely been applied to understand the roles of sexual and verbal exchanges within intimate relationships. To fill this research gap, the authors proposed that heightened perception of mattering captures the common mechanism through which both frequent sex and communication predict greater marital satisfaction. Building on this perspective, the study examined whether frequent sex and communication can compensate for the other in predicting marital satisfaction by sustaining the sense of mattering between spouses. Two survey studies were conducted using cross-cultural online samples (Study 1: Nkorean = 307 and NAmerican = 277) and a community sample of married dyads (Study 2: N = 286). Across these samples, the results demonstrated that the perceived sense of mattering to spouse mediated the effects of both sexual frequency and communication quantity on the couples’ overall satisfaction with their marriage. Moreover, the results of the moderated mediation analyses supported the hypothesis that sexual frequency and communication quantity can moderate the effects of the other on marital satisfaction by providing a buffer on the couples’ perceived sense of mattering to spouse.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sex Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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