Understanding infidelity: Correlates in a national random sample

Center for Clinical Research, Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105-4631, USA.
Journal of Family Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.89). 01/2002; 15(4):735-49. DOI: 10.1037//0893-3200.15.4.735
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Infidelity is a common phenomenon in marriages but is poorly understood. The current study examined variables related to extramarital sex using data from the 1991-1996 General Social Surveys. Predictor variables were entered into a logistic regression with presence of extramarital sex as the dependent variable. Results demonstrated that divorce, education, age when first married, and 2 "opportunity" variables--respondent's income and work status--significantly affected the likelihood of having engaged in infidelity. Also, there were 3 significant interactions related to infidelity: (a) between age and gender, (b) between marital satisfaction and religious behavior, and (c) between past divorce and educational level. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

    • "In other studies, religiosity was not related to EDI at all (e.g., Mark et al., 2011; Shaw et al., 2013; Wiederman & Hurd, 1999). The association between the level of education and infidelity hasbeenunclear(Allenetal.,2005).Althoughsomestudiesfound an association between higher education and a higher likelihood of infidelity (e.g., Atkins et al., 2001; Traeen & Stigum, 1998; Treas & Giesen, 2000), others reported no significant associations (e.g., Martins et al., 2014; Shaw et al., 2013; Traeen, Holmen, & Stigum, 2007) or opposing findings (e.g., Choi, Catania, & Dolcini, 1994). Another relevant variable is the area of residence. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the gender-specific correlates of face-to-face and online extradyadic involvement (EDI) in dating relationships. The sample consisted of 561 women (M age = 23.19 years) and 222 men (M age = 23.97 years), all of whom reported being in an exclusive dating relationship for an average of 35 months. Participants completed the following self-report measures: Extradyadic Behavior Inventory, Attitudes toward Infidelity Scale, and Investment Model Scale. During the current relationship, men were more likely than women to report engagement in face-to-face physical/sexual EDI (23.4 vs. 15.5 %) and online sexual EDI (15.3 vs. 4.6 %). Both men and women with a history of infidelity in a prior relationship were more likely to engage in EDI. More positive attitudes toward infidelity, lower relationship satisfaction, lower commitment, and higher quality of alternatives were significantly associated with EDI, regardless of gender. Women reporting infidelity of a partner in a prior relationship were more likely to engage in face-to-face and online emotional EDI; a longer relationship and a younger age at the first sexual encounter were significant correlates of the engagement in face-to-face emotional EDI. Women with higher education were approximately three times more likely to engage in online sexual EDI. Although men and women are converging in terms of overall EDI, men still report higher engagement in physical/sexual extradyadic behaviors, and the correlates of sexual and emotional EDI vary according to gender. This study contributes to a comprehensive approach of factors influencing the likelihood of EDI and encourages future research in this area.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10508-015-0576-3 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "In contrast, records using actual experiences with sexual infidelity (Atkins et al. 2001) seem to show an interaction between the predictor variables of sex and age such that men 55–65 years old were the most likely to report having had an infidelity; among only women, those in the age range of 40–45 reported the highest rates of infidelity. For those 45 and under, there was no significant sex difference (Atkins et al. 2001). In the current study, although the differences were not systematic, women tended to predict greater imagined distress for items related to both male and female mate value and roles in reproduction (e.g., giving $500, e-mailing or texting erotic pictures of themselves). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although there has been a tremendous amount of research attention on differences in reactions to sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity, there is a lack of information available as to how the two constructs overlap with respect to actual behavior, how expectations for distress vary by behavior, and how sexual and emotional content influence expectations for distress. In order to address this issue, we asked participants to rate 50 behaviors on the extent to which each would constitute sexual infidelity and, separately, emotional infidelity. Participants also rated the degree to which they would be upset if their partner performed the behavior, which enabled us to determine the relationship between views of sexual infidelity, emotional infidelity, and anticipated distress. As predicted, ratings of sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity for the 50 behaviors were largely independent. In agreement with past research, ratings of emotional infidelity were stronger predictors of distress for women than for men, whereas ratings of sexual infidelity were overall stronger predictors of distress for men than for women. Furthermore, ratings of sexual infidelity were overall stronger predictors of distress than ratings of emotional infidelity for both women and men. However, ratings of sexual infidelity were overall stronger predictors of ratings of emotional infidelity for men than for women. The results generally support predictions derived from an evolutionary perspective, elaborating upon the existing understanding of sex differences in anticipated reactions to infidelity.
    03/2015; 1(1). DOI:10.1007/s40806-015-0010-z
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    • "contains the means and standard deviations of all variables used in the analyses. In the final weighted sample, in line with previous research on infidelity , 14.4 per cent of respondents had been sexually involved with someone other than their spouses (Atkins et al. 2001; Dollahite and Lambert 2007; "
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    ABSTRACT: Research increasingly shows that religion is a potent resource for family functioning, but less research has examined how religion may influence marital infidelity. Marital fidelity is important to examine because it is a critical aspect of healthy functioning within marriage. In this research, we examine how the use of religion as a basis for marital formation is related to the probability of subsequent sexual infidelity using a probability sample of Judeo-Christians from the United States. We find that personal aspects of religiosity, such as religious importance and beliefs in biblical inerrancy, bolster an inverse relationship between religiously based marital formation and sexual infidelity, while attendance at religious services does not moderate this relationship. This study shows that individuals are more likely to be faithful when marriages are formed on a religious basis, but only when these individuals also possess a strong degree of personal religiosity.
    Sociology of Religion 09/2014; 75(3):463-487. DOI:10.1093/socrel/sru036 · 0.86 Impact Factor
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