Development and Validation of the Metacognitions about Sex Scale: Exploring its Role as a Mediator between Negative Affect, Emotion Dysregulation Strategies, and Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder

Yaniv Efrati, Marcantonio M. Spada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Metacognitions about sex are theorized to shape cognitive appraisal, coping mechanisms, and regulation or dysregulation before, during, and/or after exposure to sexual stimuli. In our study, we examined the construct structure and validity of the Metacognitions about Sex Scale (MSS) among a sample of adolescents. We estimated the convergent validity of the MSS by factors: negative affect, dysregulated thoughts, and impulsivity, and compulsive sexual behavior (CSB). We also ran a structural equation model in which we examined the possibility that metacognitions about sex would mediate the association between negative affect, dysregulated thoughts, and impulsivity on the one hand, and CSB on the other. The study population included 662 adolescents (252 boys and 410 girls, M = 16.70, SD = 1.32) between 13–18 years of age. The analyses indicated that the factorial structure of the MSS comprised the two expected factors. We also found that positive and negative metacognitions about sex significantly mediated the effect of negative affect, dysregulated thoughts, and impulsivity on CSB. The findings provide evidence that MSS among Israeli adolescents are psychometrically appropriate for use by researchers and practitioners in the prevention and treatment of CSB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Volume50
Issue number1
Early online date25 Oct 2023
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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