‘What Comes After Transmission?’ Genital Herpes Knowledge, Psychological Adjustment and Sex-Negativity

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DiCaita, Hailey Sheehan




The present study sought to evaluate the role of knowledge in psychological adjustment to genital herpes. Sex-negativity- positivity (erotophobia-erotophilia) was also considered for its potential moderating effects on knowledge and psychological adjustment. To assess genital herpes knowledge the Herpes Knowledge Scale (HKS; Bruce & Mclaughlin, 1986) was updated for use within the current research. Participants (N= 401) diagnosed with genital herpes were recruited online using social media. Knowledge of genital herpes was not associated with psychological adjustment. Erotophobia-erotophilia was significantly associated with psychological adjustment, such that individuals high in erotophobia (sex-negativity) reported poorer adjustment to a diagnosis of genital herpes. Finally, erotophobia-erotophilia did not moderate the relation between knowledge and adjustment. Given the high incidence rate of herpes and the significant psychosocial effects upon acquisition, these findings are important to understand the role of knowledge in psychological adjustment and understand factors that may impede adjustment to genital herpes.


Psychology - Social
Psychology - Psychometrics




Carleton University

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