Navigating intimate sexual partnerships in an era of HIV: dimensions of couple relationship quality and satisfaction among adults in Eswatini and linkages to HIV risk

Allison Ruark, Edward C. Green, Amy Nunn, Caitlin E Kennedy, Alfred Adams, Thandeka Dlamini-Simelane, Pamela Surkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Couple relationship functioning impacts individual health and well-being, including HIV risk, but scant research has focused on emic understandings of relationship quality in African populations. We explored relationship quality and satisfaction in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) using data from 148 in-depth interviews (117 life-course interviews with 28 adults and 31 interviews with 29 marriage counselors and their clients) and 4 focus group discussions. Love, respect, honesty, trust, communication, sexual satisfaction, and sexual faithfulness emerged as the most salient characteristics of good relationships, with both men and women emphasising love and respect as being most important. Participants desired relationships characterised by such qualities but reported relationship threats in the areas of trust, honesty, and sexual faithfulness. The dimensions of relationship quality identified by this study are consistent with research from other contexts, suggesting cross-cultural similarities in conceptions of a good relationship. Some relationship constructs, particularly respect, may be more salient in a Swazi context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-24
Number of pages15
JournalSAHARA J : journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

Love
HIV
Interviews
respect
Swaziland
Orgasm
love
interview
Focus Groups
Marriage
Research
counselor
Communication
group discussion
marriage
well-being
Health
threat
Population
communication

Keywords

  • concurrency
  • couple communication
  • love
  • Multiple sexual partnerships
  • respect
  • sexual satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Navigating intimate sexual partnerships in an era of HIV : dimensions of couple relationship quality and satisfaction among adults in Eswatini and linkages to HIV risk. / Ruark, Allison; Green, Edward C.; Nunn, Amy; Kennedy, Caitlin E; Adams, Alfred; Dlamini-Simelane, Thandeka; Surkan, Pamela.

In: SAHARA J : journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance, Vol. 16, No. 1, 01.12.2019, p. 10-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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