BACKGROUND: This study examined agreement between partners on perceptions of relationship quality and its impact on later (STI) diagnosis in a sample of pregnant (AYA) couples.
METHODS: Two hundred and ninety-six AYA couples completed structured surveys on relationship quality (satisfaction, cohesion, consensus, affectional expression) and STI diagnosis. An actor-partner interdependence model was used to assess actor effects (whether an individual’s perceived relationship quality influenced their getting STI), partner effects (whether a partner’s perceived relationship quality influenced the individual getting an STI), and interactive effects (whether an individual’s perceived relationship quality interacted with a partner’s perceived relationship quality and influenced in the individual getting an STI).
RESULTS: No significant actor or partner effects were observed for positive STI screen. However, there was a significant interaction between actor and partner satisfaction (B = -0.47, exp(B) = 0.63 [95% CI 0.43, 0.93], p = .020). When actor satisfaction was high, greater partner satisfaction was associated with lower odds of a positive STI screen at 12 months. A significant interaction between actor and partner affectional expression was also found (B = -4.40, exp(B) = 0.01 [95% CI 0.00, 0.87], p = .043). When partner affectional expression was high, greater actor affectional expression was associated with lower odds of a positive STI screen at 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that concordant reports of relationship satisfaction and affectional expression are protective against future STI risk. Strengthening romantic relationships may be a promising strategy for preventing STIs in pregnant/parenting AYA couples.
Interpartner concordance on relationship quality and sexually transmitted infections among young pregnant and parenting couples
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 48 (2), 123-127. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001281. PMCID: PMC7855501.