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

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Hughes, Suzanne
Hyland, John
Issue Date
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the study was to identify predictors of infidelity, and whether ‘Religiosity’ would inhibit such behaviour. A convenience sample of 110 part-time DBS students (57 male, 53 female) with a mean age of 30.86 years (SD = 5.99) completed a battery of questionnaires measuring infidelity and associated variables such as narcissism, conscientiousness, religiosity, and parental relationship history. Analysis revealed 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 and knowledge of parental cheating and unhappy parental relationship was found in males, but not females. In conclusion, narcissism seems to predict infidelity, but religiosity was not identified as a buffer to infidelity. Interestingly, males may possibly be more vulnerable to the effects of parental relationships than females, with regard to infidelity. Author keywords: Infidelity, religiosity, personality, parental relationship history