The effect of polygamous marital structure on behavioral, emotional, and academic adjustment in children: A comprehensive review of the literature

Salman Elbedour, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Corin Caridine, Hasan Abu-Saad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polygamy represents expanded family structures that are based on marriages involving a husband with 2 or more wives. Interestingly, polygamy is legally and widely practiced in 850 societies across the globe. In the last 2 decades, polygamy has been the focus of a significant growth in public, political, and academic awareness. Indeed, several quantitative and qualitative research articles and theoretical papers have emerged during this period, particularly concerning the effects of this form of marital structure on behavioral, emotional, and academic adjustment of children. However, to date, no researcher has provided a summary of the extant literature. Thus, the purpose of this comprehensive literature review is to summarize findings and to discuss implications of empirical studies that have examined whether polygamous marital structures are beneficial or harmful to children in comparison with children raised in monogamous marital structures. This review includes a summary of the findings from all quantitative and qualitative studies in the extant literature that have examined the effect of polygamy on children's outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-271
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Child and Family Psychology Review
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child adjustment
  • Family structure
  • Marital conflict
  • Polygamy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health

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