Shame as a moderator of attachment and sexual satisfaction

Alexander K Tatum, Tyler Niedermeyer, Jessi Schroeder, Jennifer J. Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Shame is an intensely painful emotion that adversely impacts mental health and social relationships. Although shame proneness is associated with insecure attachment and sexual satisfaction, independently, no research has examined how shame proneness relates to both of these constructs simultaneously. Such an investigation is necessary due to pervasive cultural messaging that intertwines shame, attachment, and sexuality. The present study addressed this gap in the literature through testing a moderated mediation model with an online sample of 384 American adults. Results indicate that sexual self-esteem mediated the relationship between insecure attachment style and sexual satisfaction among the present sample. Shame proneness moderated the relationship between avoidant attachment and sexual satisfaction. These findings provide implications for relationship and sex therapists working with clients impacted by shame.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Attachment
  • sexual satisfaction
  • sexual self-esteem
  • shame


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