Advertisement

Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 531–539 | Cite as

Extradyadic Involvement and Relationship Dissolution in Heterosexual Women University Students

  • Sesen NegashEmail author
  • Ming Cui
  • Frank D. Fincham
  • Kay Pasley
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examined the role of extradyadic involvement (EDI) in heterosexual dating relationships among young adult females (N = 539). A considerable percentage of participants (36 %) reported that they had engaged in an extradyadic emotional or sexual relationship within the last 2 months. Results from logistic regression analyses supported the general hypothesis that emotional and sexual EDI were both significantly associated with relationship dissolution. These associations remained strong even after controlling for participants’ age, relationship duration, and relationship quality. The findings also showed that the strength of the association between acts of emotional or sexual extradyadic behaviors and relationship dissolution was linked to relationship quality, gender of the actor, and type of EDI (emotional vs. sexual). Specifically, compared to participants who reported poor relationship quality, those who reported high relationship quality were more likely to end the partnership if they reported emotional or sexual EDI. Findings suggest that individuals in higher quality relationships appear to have considerably more to lose in their relationship when emotional or sexual EDI occurs. This, in part, may be because the more satisfactory the relationship the more disillusionment one may feel when betrayed by their romantic partner. Overall, the present findings underscore the multifaceted nature of the relationships between EDI and relationship dissolution. We call for more research that rigorously examines what contextual factors influence young adults in dating relationships to dissolve relationships following EDI.

Keywords

Sexual relationships Extradyadic sex Casual sex Emotional infidelity Relationship satisfaction 

References

  1. Afifi, W. A., Falato, W. L., & Weiner, J. L. (2001). Identity concerns following a severe relational transgression: The role of discovery method for the relational outcomes of infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18, 291–308. doi: 10.1177/0265407501182007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allemand, M., Amberg, I., Zimprich, D., & Fincham, F. D. (2007). The role of trait forgiveness and relationship satisfaction in episodic forgiveness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 199–217. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2007.26.2.199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, E. S., & Baucom, D. H. (2006). Dating, marital, and hypothetical extradyadic involvements: How do they compare? Journal of Sex Research, 43, 307–317. doi: 10.1080/00224490609552330.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Baxter, L. A. (1986). Gender differences in the heterosexual relationship rules embedded in break-up accounts. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 3, 289–306. doi: 10.1177/0265407586033003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradbury, T. N., & Karney, B. R. (1993). Longitudinal study of marital interaction and dysfunction: Review and analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 15–27. doi: 10.1016/0272-7358(93)90005-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brady, S. S., Tschann, J. M., Ellen, J. M., & Flores, E. (2009). Infidelity, trust, and condom use among Latino youth in dating relationships. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 36, 227–231. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181901cba.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Braithwaite, S. R., Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., & Pasley, K. (2010). Does college-based relationship education decrease extradyadic involvement in relationships? Journal of Family Psychology, 2, 740–745. doi: 10.1037/a0021759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brand, R. J., Markey, C. M., Mills, A., & Hodges, S. D. (2007). Sex differences in self-reported infidelity and its correlates. Sex Roles, 57, 101–109. doi: 10.1007/s11199-007-9221-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bricker, M. E., & Horne, S. E. (2007). Gay men in long-term relationships: The impact of monogamy and non-monogamy on relational health. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 6, 27–47. doi: 10.1300/J398v06n04_02.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buss, D. M., Shackelford, T. K., Kirkpatrick, L. A., Choe, J., Hasegawa, M., Hasegawa, T., et al. (1999). Jealousy and the nature of beliefs about infidelity: Tests of competing hypotheses about sex differences in the United States, Korea and Japan. Personal Relationships, 6, 125–160. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.1999.tb00215.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Buunk, B. (1987). Conditions that promote breakups as a consequence of extradyadic involvements. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 5, 271–284. doi: 10.1521/jscp.1987.5.3.271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carrere, S., Buehlman, K. T., Gottman, J. M., Coan, J. A., & Ruckstuhl, L. (2000). Predicting marital stability and divorce in newlywed couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 42–58. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.14.1.42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cherlin, A. J. (2005). American marriage in the early twenty-first century. The Future of Children, 15, 33–56. doi: 10.1353/foc. 2005.0015.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Cherlin, A. J. (2010). Demographic trends in the United States: A review of research in the 2000s. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 403–419. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00710.x.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Conley, T. D., Ziegler, A., Moors, A. C., Matsick, J. L., & Valentine, B. (2013). A critical examination of popular assumptions about the benefits and outcomes of monogamous relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17, 124–141. doi: 10.1177/1088868312467087.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Davis, D., Shaver, P. R., & Vernon, M. L. (2003). Physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to breaking up: The roles of gender, age, emotional involvement, and attachment style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 871–884. doi: 10.1177/0146167203029007006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. DeSteno, D., Bartlett, M., Braverman, J., & Salovey, P. (2002). Sex differences in jealousy: Evolutionary mechanism or artifact of measurement? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 1103–1116. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.83.5.1103.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Drigotas, S. M., & Barta, W. (2001). The cheating heart: Scientific explorations of infidelity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 177–180. doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.00143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Drigotas, S. M., Safstrom, A. C., & Gentilia, T. (1999). An investment model prediction of dating infidelity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 509–524. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.77.3.509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Duba, J. D., Kindsvatter, A., & Lara, T. (2008). Treating infidelity: Considering narratives of attachment. The Family Journal, 16, 293–299. doi: 10.1177/1066480708323198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fife, S. T., Weeks, G. R., & Gambescia, N. (2008). Treating infidelity: An integrative approach. The Family Journal, 16, 316–323. doi: 10.1177/1066480708323205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fincham, F. D., & Bradbury, T. N. (1987). The assessment of marital quality: A reevaluation. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 797–809. doi: 10.2307/351973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fincham, F. D., & Cui, M. (Eds.). (2011). Romantic relationships in emerging adulthood. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fincham, F. D., Jackson, H., & Beach, S. R. H. (2005). Transgression severity and forgiveness: Different moderators for objective and subjective severity. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24, 860–875. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2005.24.6.860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fincham, F. D., & Linfield, K. J. (1997). A new look at marital quality: Can spouses feel positive and negative about their marriage? Journal of Family Psychology, 11, 489–502. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.11.4.489-502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Funk, J. L., & Rogge, R. D. (2007). Testing the ruler with item response theory: Increasing precision of measurement for relationship satisfaction with the Couples Satisfaction Index. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 572–583. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.4.572.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Gallup. (2007). Gallup poll: Moral issues. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/1681/Moral-Issues.aspx.
  28. Gallup. (2008). Gallup poll: Most Americans not willing to forgive unfaithful spouse. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/105682/most-americans-willing-forgive-unfaithful-spouse.aspx.
  29. Grello, C. M., Welsh, D. P., & Harper, M. S. (2006). No strings attached: The nature of casual sex in college students. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 255–267. doi: 10.1080/00224490609552324.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hall, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2006a). Relationship dissolution following infidelity. In M. A. Fine & J. H. Harvey (Eds.), Handbook of divorce and relationship dissolution (pp. 153–168). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence.Google Scholar
  31. Hall, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2006b). Relationship dissolution following infidelity: The role of attributions and forgiveness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25, 508–522. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2006.25.5.508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hall, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2009). Psychological distress: Precursor or consequence of dating infidelity? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 143–159. doi: 10.1177/0146167208327189.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Harris, C. R. (2002). Sexual and romantic jealousy in heterosexual and homosexual adults. Psychological Science, 13, 7–12. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.00402.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Hassebrauck, M., & Fehr, B. (2002). Dimensions of relationship quality. Personal Relationships, 9, 253–270. doi: 10.1111/1475-6811.00017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hertlein, K. M., Ray, R., Wetchler, J., & Killmer, J. M. (2003). The role of differentiation in extradyadic relationships. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 2, 33–50. doi: 10.1300/J398v02n04_03.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hicks, T. V., & Leitenberg, H. (2001). Sexual fantasies about one’s partner versus someone else: Gender differences in incidence and frequency. Journal of Sex Research, 38, 43–50. doi: 10.1080/00224490109552069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Huston, T. L., Niehuis, S., & Smith, S. E. (2001). The early marital roots of conjugal distress and divorce. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 70, 116–119. doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.00129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kachadourian, L. K., Fincham, F., & Davila, J. (2004). The tendency to forgive in dating and married couples: The role of attachment and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 11, 373–393. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2004.00088.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kaighobadi, F., Shackelford, T. K., Popp, D., Moyer, R. M., Bates, V. M., & Liddle, J. R. (2009). Perceived risk of female infidelity moderates the relationship between men’s personality and partner-directed violence. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 1033–1039. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2009.08.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kaighobadi, F., Starratt, V. G., Shackelford, T. K., & Popp, D. (2008). Male mate retention mediates the relationship between female sexual infidelity and female-directed violence. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1422–1431. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.12.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kessel, D. E., Atkins, D. C., & Furrow, J. L. (2007, November). Infidelity on the rise: The evolving demographics of infidelity. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
  42. Kurdek, L. A. (1994). Conflict resolution styles in gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 705–722. doi: 10.2307/352880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Le, B., Dove, N. L., Agnew, C. R., Korn, M. S., & Mutso, A. A. (2010). Predicting nonmarital romantic relationship dissolution: A meta-analytic synthesis. Personal Relationships, 17, 377–390. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01285.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Le, B., Korn, M. S., Crockett, E. E., & Loving, T. J. (2011). Missing you maintains us: Missing a romantic partner, commitment, relationship maintenance, and physical infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 28, 653–667. doi: 10.1177/0265407510384898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Leeker, O., & Carlozzi, A. (2012). Effects of sex, sexual orientation, infidelity expectations, and love on distress related to emotional and sexual infidelity. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Advance Online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2012.00331.x.
  46. Lewandowski, G. W., & Ackerman, R. A. (2006). Something’s missing: Need fulfillment and self-expansion as predictors of susceptibility to infidelity. Journal of Social Psychology, 146, 389–403. doi: 10.3200/SOCP.146.4.389-403.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Mark, K. P., Janssen, E., & Milhausen, R. R. (2011). Infidelity in heterosexual couples: Demographic, interpersonal, and personality-related predictors of extradyadic sex. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 971–982. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9771-z.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Mattson, R. E., Rogge, R. D., Johnson, M. D., Davidson, E. K., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). The positive and negative semantic dimensions of relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 20, 328–355. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2012.01412.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McAlister, A. R., Pachana, N., & Jackson, C. J. (2005). Predictors of young dating adults’ inclination to engage in extradyadic sexual activities: A multi-perspective study. British Journal of Psychology, 96, 331–350. doi: 10.1348/000712605X47936.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Meeks, B. S., Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C. (1998). Communication, love, and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 755–773. doi: 10.1177/0265407598156003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Milton, J. (1928). Paradise lost. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Mongeau, P. A., Hale, J. L., & Alles, M. (1994). An experimental investigation of accounts and attributions following sexual infidelity. Communications Monographs, 61, 326–344. doi: 10.1080/03637759409376341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Oikle, J. M. (2003). The prediction and description of dating infidelity. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas, Lawrence.Google Scholar
  54. Olson, M. M., Russell, C. S., Higgins-Kessler, M., & Miller, R. B. (2002). Emotional processes following disclosure of an extramarital affair. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28, 423–434. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2002.tb00367.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Parsons, J. T., Starks, T. J., Gamarel, K. E., & Grov, C. (2012). Non-monogamy and sexual relationship quality among same-sex male couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 26, 669. doi: 10.1037/a0029561.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Pham, M. N., Shackelford, T. K., & Sela, Y. (2013). Women’s oral sex behaviors and risk of partner infidelity. Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 792–795. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.11.034.Google Scholar
  57. Previti, D., & Amato, P. R. (2004). Is infidelity a cause or a consequence of poor marital quality? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21, 217–230. doi: 10.1177/0265407504041384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Puente, S., & Cohen, D. (2003). Jealousy and the meaning (or nonmeaning) of violence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 449–460. doi: 10.1177/0146167202250912.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Rochlen, A. B., McKelley, R., Suizzo, M., & Scaringi, V. (2008). Predictors of relationship satisfaction, psychological well-being, and life satisfaction among stay-at-home fathers. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 9, 17–28. doi: 10.1037/1524-9220.9.1.17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Roscoe, B., Cavanaugh, L. E., & Kennedy, D. R. (1988). Dating infidelity: Behaviors, reasons and consequences. Adolescence, 23, 35–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Rusbult, C. E. (1980). Commitment and satisfaction in romantic associations: A test of the investment model. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 16, 172–186. doi: 10.1016/0022-1031(80)90007-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rusbult, C. E. (1983). A longitudinal test of the investment model: The development (and deterioration) of satisfaction and commitment in heterosexual involvements. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 101–117. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.45.1.101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sabatelli, R. M. (1988). Exploring relationship satisfaction: A social exchange perspective on the interdependence between theory, research, and practice. Family Relations, 37, 217–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Shackelford, T. K. (1998). Divorce as a consequence of spousal infidelity. In V. C. D. Munck (Ed.), Romantic love and sexual behaviors (pp. 135–153). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  65. Shackelford, T. K., & Buss, D. M. (1997). Anticipation of marital dissolution as a consequence of spousal infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, 793–808. doi: 10.1177/0265407597146005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Shackelford, T. K., Buss, D., & Bennett, K. (2002). Forgiveness or breakup: Sex differences in responses to a partner’s infidelity. Cognition and Emotion, 12, 299–307. doi: 10.1080/02699930143000202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15–28. doi: 10.2307/350547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Theiss, J. A., & Solomon, D. H. (2008). Parsing the mechanisms that increase relational intimacy: The effects of uncertainty amount, open communication about uncertainty, and the reduction of uncertainty. Human Communication Research, 34, 625–654. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2008.00335.x.
  69. Vail-Smith, K., Whetstone, L. M., & Knox, D. (2010). The illusions of safety in “monogamous” undergraduate relationships. American Journal of Health Behavior, 34, 12–20. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.34.1.2.Google Scholar
  70. Whisman, M. A., Uebelacker, L. A., & Weinstock, L. M. (2004). Psychopathology and marital satisfaction: The importance of evaluating both partners. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 830–838. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.72.5.830.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Whisman, M. A., & Wagers, T. P. (2005). Assessing relationship betrayals. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 1383–1391. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20188.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Yeniceri, Z., & Kokdemir, D. (2006). University students perceptions of, and explanations for, infidelity: The development of the infidelity questionnaire (INFQ). Social Behavior and Personality, 34, 639–650. doi: 10.2224/sbp.2006.34.6.639.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sesen Negash
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ming Cui
    • 2
  • Frank D. Fincham
    • 3
  • Kay Pasley
    • 2
  1. 1.Couple and Family Therapy ProgramAlliant International UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family & Child SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Family InstituteFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations