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


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.

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Available from: David C Atkins, Oct 15, 2015
    • "For example, religiosity includes behavioral aspects (e.g., frequency of attending church and/ or religious services), identity (e.g., identifying with a particular religious affiliation), and personal relevance/connection (e.g., how internally connected one feels to one's religion). Research in this area typically includes married couples (e.g., Atkins et al. 2001) and largely assesses behavioral and self-report data, particularly religious affiliation (Burdette et al. 2007) and church attendance (Atkins and Kessel 2008; Whisman and Snyder 2007). Research reveals that married individuals who categorize themselves as belonging to a particular religion are less likely to participate in infidelity compared to those without a religious affiliation (Burdette et al. 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the relationship between intrinsic religious motivation and both physical and emotional intimacy with an extraydadic partner (i.e., infidelity) in a sample of emerging adults (ages 18 to 25, N = 188) who were involved in dating romantic relationships. The study uniquely conceptualized religiosity in terms of personal and internal connection with religion; additionally, the study included both physical and emotional aspects of extradyadic intimacy behaviors. Contrary to previous research with married adult couples, analyses revealed that intrinsic religious motivation significantly and positively predicted physical and emotional intimacy with an extradyadic partner. Developmental implications are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Adult Development
    • "Although younger adolescents mentioned physical activity involving genital contact, the presence of nongenital physical behaviors within understandings highlights the unique nuances in high-school-aged adolescents' conceptions of infidelity. Whereas infidelity typically involves sexual intercourse for couples in married and college dating samples (Allen et al., 2005; Atkins et al., 2001; Blow & Hartnett, 2005), younger adolescents' understandings more often include behaviors that are more characteristic of younger dating relationships (Welsh et al., 2005). These behaviors include kissing, hugging, and behaving as " more than friends " with an extradyadic partner (Furman & Rose, 2015; Welsh et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study explored younger adolescents’ (ages 14 to 17 years; N = 204; 50% girls) understandings of infidelity and whether these understandings differed for girls and boys. Analyses revealed that younger adolescents’ understandings of infidelity included an array of physical, affective, cognitive, and verbal behaviors with an extradyadic partner. No gender differences were found. Additionally, younger adolescents’ understandings of infidelity were compared to older adolescents’ (ages 17 to 21 years; N = 214; 50% girls) understandings. Results showed that younger adolescents’ salient understandings of infidelity more often included light, affectionate behaviors such as hugging and kissing an extradyadic partner, whereas older adolescents’ salient understandings more often included heavy physical behaviors, including sexual intercourse and oral sex. Gender comparisons with older adolescents revealed that boys’ salient understandings of infidelity included higher numbers of heavy physical behaviors, whereas girls’ salient understandings included higher numbers of light, affectionate behaviors. Results demonstrate that infidelity is a complex and multifaceted construct for adolescent girls and boys and suggest that developmental researchers should examine understandings of infidelity beyond sexual extradyadic experiences. Implications for adolescent development and psychosocial health are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Personal Relationships
    • "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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Archives of Sexual Behavior
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