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Fatherhood Is Associated with Increased Infidelity and Moderates the Link between Relationship Satisfaction and Infidelity


Lacker, Tim Jonas; Walther, Andreas; Waldvogel, Patricia; Ehlert, Ulrike (2020). Fatherhood Is Associated with Increased Infidelity and Moderates the Link between Relationship Satisfaction and Infidelity. Psych, 2(4):370-384.

Abstract

Background: Relationship satisfaction has been identified as an important factor in terms of extradyadic sexual involvement. However, in men, fatherhood might be associated with infidelity by leading to changes in relationship satisfaction and the social life of parents. To date, no study has focused on the association of fatherhood and infidelity, nor the influence of fatherhood on the association between relationship satisfaction and infidelity. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, 137 fathers and 116 non-fathers were assessed regarding relationship satisfaction, infidelity, and potential confounds. Results: Significantly more fathers reported having been unfaithful in the current relationship than non-fathers (30.7% vs. 17.2%). Fathers also reported longer relationship duration, higher relationship satisfaction, and lower neuroticism than non-fathers. Furthermore, fatherhood moderated the association between relationship satisfaction and infidelity insofar that only in non-fathers reduced relationship satisfaction was associated with infidelity. Conclusions: The results suggest that fatherhood increases the risk of engaging in extradyadic sexual activities and moderates the link between relationship satisfaction and infidelity. However, results need to be interpreted with caution due to the cross-sectional study design and the lack of information about the specific time point of the infidelity incident(s).

Abstract

Background: Relationship satisfaction has been identified as an important factor in terms of extradyadic sexual involvement. However, in men, fatherhood might be associated with infidelity by leading to changes in relationship satisfaction and the social life of parents. To date, no study has focused on the association of fatherhood and infidelity, nor the influence of fatherhood on the association between relationship satisfaction and infidelity. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, 137 fathers and 116 non-fathers were assessed regarding relationship satisfaction, infidelity, and potential confounds. Results: Significantly more fathers reported having been unfaithful in the current relationship than non-fathers (30.7% vs. 17.2%). Fathers also reported longer relationship duration, higher relationship satisfaction, and lower neuroticism than non-fathers. Furthermore, fatherhood moderated the association between relationship satisfaction and infidelity insofar that only in non-fathers reduced relationship satisfaction was associated with infidelity. Conclusions: The results suggest that fatherhood increases the risk of engaging in extradyadic sexual activities and moderates the link between relationship satisfaction and infidelity. However, results need to be interpreted with caution due to the cross-sectional study design and the lack of information about the specific time point of the infidelity incident(s).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:21 December 2020
Deposited On:26 Jan 2021 13:04
Last Modified:26 Jan 2021 13:15
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2624-8611
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/psych2040027
Project Information:
  • : Funderacobs Foundation
  • : Grant ID2013-1049
  • : Project Title

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