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J Fam Psychol. 2007 Jun;21(2):320-4.

Predicting sexual infidelity in a population-based sample of married individuals.

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Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.


Predictors of 12-month prevalence of sexual infidelity were examined in a population-based sample of married individuals (N = 2,291). Predictor variables were organized in terms of involved-partner (e.g., personality, religiosity), marital (e.g., marital dissatisfaction, partner affair), and extradyadic (e.g., parenting) variables. Annual prevalence of infidelity was 2.3%. Controlling for marital dissatisfaction and demographic variables, infidelity was predicted by greater neuroticism and lower religiosity; wives' pregnancy also increased the risk of infidelity for husbands. In comparison, self-esteem and partners' suspected affair were predictive of infidelity when controlling for demographic variables but were not uniquely predictive of infidelity when also controlling for marital dissatisfaction. Religiosity and wives' pregnancy moderated the association between marital dissatisfaction and infidelity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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