Current Projects

USM Doctoral Graduate Student Sponsorships

In the period of 2012- 2013, Dr. Carnes has headed a research team focusing on hundreds of thousands of sex addicts. Over 40 scientific articles will be either published, accepted, or in peer review from this research. Core to this effort is a joint partnership between the University of Mississippi, the University of Minnesota, and the American Association for Addiction Research. Taken together, they will serve as a landmark effort in understanding human sexuality. In short, the data is very clear that sex addiction stands as its own separate disease process. However, a number of sexual behaviors do not occur without significant concurrent psychopathology. Also, there are new sexual constructs that have never before been documented. The result is a map to all these behaviors with a detailed guide to how patients get there.

According to Dr. Brad Green of the University of Southern Mississippi, “AFAR has been instrumental with the sexual addiction research being conducted at the University of Southern Mississippi. The funding from AFAR has allowed us to dedicate a significant portion of time to the development and validation of sexual addiction assessment instruments. It has also allowed us to present the results of our work in peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences. Through AFAR’s support the University of Southern Mississippi has been able to allow me to maintain a small workforce of highly skilled and dedicated psychology doctoral graduate students to handle much of the labor intensive and time consuming work necessary for such research (e.g., data collection, data base management, managing needs of participating clinicians) and has also allowed us to benefit from the services of Dr. Randolph Arnau, an expert in test development and psychometric analysis, to help share the load of analytical work.”

Results from the study funded by the AFAR grant:

USM has been primarily engaged in two long-term projects:

  1. Updating and validating the Sexual Addiction Screening Test-Revised (SAST-R)
  2. Updating and validating the Sexual Dependency Inventory-Revised (SDI-R)

The SAST-R

The SAST-R was developed to extend the SAST, which had been a successful screening for sexual addiction in men, to be effective at screening for the aspects of sexual addiction that are common across genders and sexual orientations. USM also added a subscale intended to specifically measure internet use, as well as three scales intended to capture behaviors more specific to heterosexual men, gay men, or women in general. The result was the SAST-R, released in 2008, which is still in use today. They now have adequate data to complete powerful analyses informing as to the structure, psychometric properties, and performance of the SAST-R, as well as a comparison of the SAST-R performance across every possible combination of gender and sexual orientation. USM has three papers in preparation addressing:

  1. The structure of the SAST-R across two samples of men in treatment for sexual addiction
  2. The performance of the SAST-R across gender and sexual orientations using a large online sample
  3. The structure of the SAST-R across two samples of women in treatment for sexual addiction

The SDI-R

USM began revising the structure of the SDI-R in 2008 via factor analysis of a relatively large sample of clinical data. They released a new version of the SDI-R (now the SDI-3.0) in 2009. The 2009 release was the first version to have two sets of scales, one set based on factor analysis of the frequency items on the test, and one based on the power items. After collecting data for three years they have refined the structure of the SDI-3.0 scales, resulting in the SDI-4.0. In addition, support from AFAR and the University of Minnesota Press has allowed USM to gather SDI-4.0 data in parallel with MMPI-2-RF data from people being treated for sexual addiction. The long-term data collection phase of that project is now coming to a close, and they will soon be completing analyses that will put the SDI-4.0 and SAST-R into the context of traditional forms of psychopathology. USM has several papers in preparation on the SDI-3.0/SDI-4.0 addressing:

  1. Structure of the SDI-3.0 across two samples of men in treatment for sexual addiction
  2. Higher order structure of the SDI-4.0
  3. Structure of the SDI-3.0 in a sample of women being treated for sexual addiction
  4. MMPI-2-RF correlates of the SDI-4.0 scales
  5. MMPI-2-RF correlates of the SDI-4.0 Higher Order scales
  6. Latent classes of Axis I psychopathology in a sexual addiction sample
  7. Latent classes of Axis II psychopathology in a sexual addiction sample
  8. Latent sexual addiction types extracted form a sexual addiction sample
  9. A comparison of groups defined as high on Preoccupation with Relationships, high on Preoccupation with Isolated Fantasizing, or high on both
  10. An investigation of attachment in relation to Preoccupation with Relationships and Preoccupation with Isolated Fantasizing
  11. A comparison of groups defined high on Exhibition Behaviors, high on Voyeurism and Covert Intrusion behaviors, or high on both

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Responsibility Retreat: Principle Four September 5-7, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ. A series of 12 quarterly weekend retreats will explore one principle per retreat of Dr. Patrick Carnes’ concept of...

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