Affairs of the heart: gender, personality, religiosity and parental relationship history as predictors of infidelity

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Hughes, Suzanne
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Using a correlational design, the study aimed to identify predictors of infidelity and whether religiosity could inhibit infidelity. A convenience sample of 110 part-time DBS students (57 male, 53 female) with a mean age of30.86 years (SD = 5.99) completed questionnaires measuring infidelity (Infidelity Scale), attitudes to sexual versus emotional infidelity, narcissism (NPI-16), conscientiousness (Big Five), religiosity (FSAC) and parental relationship history. Statistical analysis (SPSS) found no gender differences in rates of infidelity and attitudes to sexual versus emotional infidelity. Infidelity was associated with narcissism but not conscientiousness or religiosity. An association between infidelity knowledge of parental cheating and unhappy parental relationship was found in males, but not females. In conclusion, some of the hypotheses were supported but religiosity was not identified as a buffer to infidelity. Interestingly, males are possibly more vulnerable to the effects of parental relationships than females, when it comes to engaging in infidelity.