A comparison study of psychological, family function marital and life satisfactions of polygamous and monogamous women in Jordan

Community Ment Health J. 2011 Oct;47(5):594-602. doi: 10.1007/s10597-011-9405-x. Epub 2011 May 15.


This study surveyed a 2009 convenience sampling of 199 women, 93 of whom were first (or senior) wives in polygamous marriages and 106 were wives in monogamous marriages. We deployed the McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD), ENRICH marital satisfaction questionnaire, SCL-90 mental health symptoms checklist, Rosenberg self-esteem (SE) scale, and Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin life satisfaction scale, a basic sociodemographic scale, including attitudes towards polygamy. Women from polygamous families experienced more problems in family functioning, marital relations, and reported low self-esteem, less satisfaction with life, and more somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoid ideation, psychoticism and their general severity index was higher (GSI). More women in polygamous marriages agreed with the practice of polygamy, as compared to their monogamous counterparts. The conclusion considers implications for mental health practice, policy, and further research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arabs / psychology*
  • Arabs / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Jordan
  • Marriage / ethnology
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Concept
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Young Adult