Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Relational Satisfaction in Long-Term, Non-monogamous, Heterosexual Relationships
by Tahler, Heather, Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2015, 79; 3644027
Abstract (Summary)

Objectives: Study was designed to explore questions examining relational satisfaction in long-term non-monogamous heterosexual couples in comparison to relational satisfaction in long-term sexually monogamous heterosexual couples, as well as gain insight into whom those involved in non-monogamous relationships disclose to and the potential stigma felt by this disclosure. Demographic variables were also explored to see if any prediction of marital satisfaction occurred.

Methods: Both long-term sexually monogamous and long-term sexually non-monogamous participants responded to a secure online survey. The survey consisted of informed consent, inclusion criteria, ENRICH marital satisfaction scale (Fowers and Olson 1993) items, and open-ended questions for items not assessed by the ENRICH scale alone.

Results: After checking for univariate normality and outliers and assessing missing value patterns, results show that both the Marital Satisfaction and Idealistic Distortion scales were reliable. The findings in the study revealed that relationship type did not have a significant impact on marital satisfaction or idealistic distortion, with similar levels of satisfaction and idealistic distortion in both monogamous and non-monogamous couples. The results also demonstrated, through linear regression for demographic variables, that only income level significantly predicted marital satisfaction. After qualitative data was coded, there were many themes found within both monogamous and non-monogamous couples.

Conclusions: Data supports the original hypothesis that there was very little difference in marital satisfaction between monogamous and non-monogamous heterosexual couples. With these results, non-monogamy is a more viable relationship option than previously recognized for couples that are interested, and it is necessary to create models to work with these couples. Developing further research within this population specifically is also necessary for the future.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Berkey, Braden
Commitee: Bailey, Melisa
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Social psychology, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Couples, Human sexuality, Non-monogamy, Psychology, Relational satisfaction, Therapy
Publication Number: 3644027
ISBN: 978-1-321-32068-8
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