Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Second Advisor

Dr. Lester W. Wright

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott T. Gaynor

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Scott E. Kerby


depression, behavioral activation, sexual desire, computerized treatment


The present study was designed to examine the effects of a computerized behavioral activation treatment program on sexual desire, sexual behavior, and depression symptoms. Seven adults who met criteria for either major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder were recruited from Kalamazoo, Portage, and surrounding areas in Southwestern Michigan. All participants completed at least five sessions of behavioral activation treatment, and six out of seven participants completed all ten sessions. Symptoms of depression, sexual desire, and sexual behavior were assessed at pretreatment and before each treatment session through a combination of the Beck Depression Inventory – II (BDI-II), the Revised Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (RHRSD), the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders (SCID-I), and the Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI). It was hypothesized that participants would report an improvement in overall depression. It was further hypothesized that participants would report an increase in sexual desire and sexual behavior frequency after completing the depression treatment program. Results were explored statistically using Pearson Product Moment Correlations of variables, paired two sample t-tests of pretest and posttest treatment data, and visual inspection of individual participant scores over the course of treatment. Results indicated a significant improvement in depression that is both statistically and clinically significant. Additionally, no significant improvement to sexual desire, nor an increase in sexual behavior frequency, was noted as a result of completing treatment.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access