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      The sexuality of couples formed during the pandemic: An exploratory study

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          Abstract

          Covid-19 has been affecting people’s lives on a social, economic, emotional, and sexual level. This study aims to investigate any change in how couples formed during the pandemic got to know the partner and experienced sexuality, including factors that could have influenced those changes in comparison with a pre-pandemic period. Particularly, focus groups (N = 26 women) were conducted and an online questionnaire (N = 120; 41 men and 79 women) was administered. Given the exploratory qualitative nature of the present research, no specific hypothesis was tested. Most of the sample reported an increase in sexual desire, sexual frequency, and quality of intercourse, perceiving an early development of intimacy. The results highlight the lack of stress and fear of contagion. The intense state of euphoria, typical of the initial phase of the relationship, has perhaps allowed the couples to overcome the obstacles due to the restrictions. This study underlines the role of being in love in the survival of the species, as it allows for the creation of steady relationships even in moments of danger.

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          Most cited references55

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          The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21): construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample.

          To test the construct validity of the short-form version of the Depression anxiety and stress scale (DASS-21), and in particular, to assess whether stress as indexed by this measure is synonymous with negative affectivity (NA) or whether it represents a related, but distinct, construct. To provide normative data for the general adult population. Cross-sectional, correlational and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The DASS-21 was administered to a non-clinical sample, broadly representative of the general adult UK population (N = 1,794). Competing models of the latent structure of the DASS-21 were evaluated using CFA. The model with optimal fit (RCFI = 0.94) had a quadripartite structure, and consisted of a general factor of psychological distress plus orthogonal specific factors of depression, anxiety, and stress. This model was a significantly better fit than a competing model that tested the possibility that the Stress scale simply measures NA. The DASS-21 subscales can validly be used to measure the dimensions of depression, anxiety, and stress. However, each of these subscales also taps a more general dimension of psychological distress or NA. The utility of the measure is enhanced by the provision of normative data based on a large sample.
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            Measuring Marital Quality: A Critical Look at the Dependent Variable

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              The Italian version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21: Factor structure and psychometric properties on community and clinical samples.

              The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21) is the short version of a self-report measure that was originally developed to provide maximum differentiation between depressive and anxious symptoms. Despite encouraging evidence, the factor structure and other features of the DASS-21 are yet to be firmly established.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Data curationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: InvestigationRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                7 October 2022
                2022
                : 17
                : 10
                : e0275068
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of General Psychology, Padua University, Padua, Italy
                [2 ] Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation, Padua University, Padua, Italy
                University of Nairobi, KENYA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6069-5284
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6219-4408
                Article
                PONE-D-22-21780
                10.1371/journal.pone.0275068
                9543687
                36206270
                2c5b5a97-e1b8-4f19-9b0d-5ce40e2df407
                © 2022 Filisetti et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 3 August 2022
                : 9 September 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 5, Pages: 15
                Funding
                The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Epidemiology
                Pandemics
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Fear
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Emotions
                Fear
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Mental Health and Psychiatry
                Psychological Stress
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Psychological Stress
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Psychological Stress
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Collective Human Behavior
                Interpersonal Relationships
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Collective Human Behavior
                Interpersonal Relationships
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Ethnicities
                European People
                Italian People
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Survey Research
                Questionnaires
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Medical Conditions
                Infectious Diseases
                Viral Diseases
                Covid 19
                Custom metadata
                Data file is available from the Research Data Unipd database at the following link: http://researchdata.cab.unipd.it/id/eprint/681 (DOI: 10.25430/researchdata.cab.unipd.it.00000681).

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