Pacific Islands Families Study: Intimate Partner Stressors and Psychological Distress among Pacific Adults

Paterson, J
Tautolo, ES
Iusitini, L
Taylor, SM
Farvid, P
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Taylor and Francis

Although there has been increased research about the nature and predictors of sexual problems, relatively little is known about sexual health and well-being among minority ethnic groups across the world. This study explored stressful intimate relationship events that made a significant impact on psychological distress among Pacific adults living in New Zealand. The Pacific Islands Families (PIF) study is a longitudinal investigation of Pacific children born in New Zealand, and their parents. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) and intimate partner stress items were used to assess the relationship between these stressful events and psychological distress among Pacific mothers and fathers (n D 3963 interviews with 2114 individuals). For both men and women, the most significant partner stress associated with psychological distress was problems with sex. These findings show how stressful events around sexuality and intimate relationships affect Pacific psychological well-being. These intimate issues need to be considered when designing intervention and treatment programmes that are adaptive for long-term family stability and sexual well-being. The relationship between culture, sexuality, and psychological distress needs further investigation. Using a qualitative methodology would provide a more intensive exploration of the role that cultural context plays in intimate relationships and sexuality in Pacific adults.

Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 31(3), 301-311.
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