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Moral Commitment and religiosity in Newlywed Women and their influence on infidelity expectations

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The Commitment Framework, developed by Johnson (1999), describes commitment in terms of personal, moral, and structural factors. Flores and Campbell (2009) used this framework to ascertain newlywed women’s expectations of infidelity and divorce. Findings indicated that moral commitment was significantly related to women’s expectations of infidelity, but not divorce.
In the current study, we extend these findings by investigating which sub-components of moral commitment (i.e., values about relationship dissolution, moral obligations to a partner or other people, personal consistency values) are related to women’s infidelity expectations. One limitation of Johnson’s moral commitment factor is that it does not fully account for religiosity. Therefore, we additionally explore the influence of religion and religiosity on infidelity expectations.
Our findings indicated that two of Johnson’s moral commitment subscales were significantly related to women’s infidelity expectations. Women were significantly less likely to expect to engage in extramarital sex if they felt morally obligated to a partner or a person outside of the relationship and if they valued consistency. Values about relationship dissolution and degree of religiosity did not predict infidelity expectations. These findings disconfirm our initial prediction that infidelity expectations would be significantly lower for highly religious individuals. Previous research has found that religion helps lower the risk of infidelity (Dollahite & Lambert, 2007); however, it is possible that this effect is meditational. Our findings suggest that moral obligations to a partner or other people (rather than God), as well as consistency values may account for the association between religiosity and infidelity expectations. Another possibility is that religiosity may in fact protect against infidelity, while not significantly impacting expectations of infidelity, which was the outcome variable in our study. Practitioners can help couples safeguard their marriage against infidelity, by bolstering each partner’s feelings of moral commitment toward their spouse and other people, and by strengthening each partner’s consistency values.

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Moral Commitment and religiosity in Newlywed Women and their influence on infidelity expectations

  1. 1. THE ROLE OF MORAL COMMITMENT ON NEWLYWED WOMEN&apos;S INFIDELITY EXPECTATIONS<br />Carlos G. Flores<br />Dr. Kelly Campbell <br />Department of Psychology<br />California State University, San Bernardino<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />
  3. 3. Commitment<br />
  4. 4. Expectations of monogamy<br />
  5. 5. Expectations of monogamy<br />Disapproval of infidelity<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. 20-25% engage in it<br />
  8. 8. 20-25% engage in it<br />50-65% enter counseling<br />
  9. 9. 20-25% engage in it<br />50-65% enter counseling<br />Most cited reason for divorce<br />
  10. 10. Previous study<br />
  11. 11. COMMITMENT FRAMEWORK<br />
  12. 12. COMMITMENT FRAMEWORK<br /><ul><li>Personal Commitment
  13. 13. “Want to”</li></li></ul><li>COMMITMENT FRAMEWORK<br /><ul><li>Personal Commitment
  14. 14. “Want to”
  15. 15. Moral Commitment
  16. 16. “Ought to”</li></li></ul><li>COMMITMENT FRAMEWORK<br /><ul><li>Personal Commitment
  17. 17. “Want to”
  18. 18. Moral Commitment
  19. 19. “Ought to”
  20. 20. Structural Commitment
  21. 21. “Have to”</li></li></ul><li>Infidelity<br />
  22. 22.
  23. 23. COMMITMENT FRAMEWORK<br /><ul><li>Personal Commitment
  24. 24. “Want to”
  25. 25. Moral Commitment
  26. 26. “Ought to”
  27. 27. Structural Commitment
  28. 28. “Have to”</li></li></ul><li>MORAL COMMITMENT<br />
  29. 29. MORAL COMMITMENT<br /><ul><li>Values about dissolution
  30. 30. Attitudes about divorce</li></li></ul><li>MORAL COMMITMENT<br /><ul><li>Values about dissolution
  31. 31. Attitudes about divorce
  32. 32. Personal Moral obligation to </li></ul> others<br /><ul><li>Partner contract</li></li></ul><li>MORAL COMMITMENT<br /><ul><li>Values about dissolution
  33. 33. Attitudes about divorce
  34. 34. Personal Moral obligation to </li></ul> others<br /><ul><li>Partner contract
  35. 35. Value of Consistency
  36. 36. “Always finish what you start”</li></li></ul><li>Problem<br />
  37. 37.
  38. 38. RESEARCH QUESTIONS<br /><ul><li>Which subcomponents of Moral Commitment are related to women’s expectations of infidelity?
  39. 39. Does religiosity affect expectations of infidelity in newlywed women?</li></li></ul><li>SAMPLE<br /><ul><li>197 Women
  40. 40. Online Questionnaire
  41. 41. Newly married
  42. 42. Less than 2 years Married
  43. 43. Long enough to have already experienced dissatisfaction
  44. 44. Without Children
  45. 45. In their first marriage</li></li></ul><li>ANALYSIS<br /><ul><li>Multiple regression used
  46. 46. PREDICTORS
  47. 47. Commitment Framework (Johnson et al., 1999)
  48. 48. 13 Questions
  49. 49. Likert-type
  50. 50. From “Very Little” (1) to “Very much” (5)
  51. 51. Reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficients):
  52. 52. Moral Commitment = .857
  53. 53. Values about dissolution = .849
  54. 54. Partner contract = .712
  55. 55. Consistency values = .833</li></li></ul><li>ANALYSIS<br /><ul><li>PREDICTORS Cont’d
  56. 56. Religiosity (Campbell, 2008)
  57. 57. “How religious are you?”
  58. 58. Very
  59. 59. Fairly
  60. 60. Slightly
  61. 61. Not religious
  62. 62. CRITERIA
  63. 63. Infidelity Expectations (Campbell, 2008)
  64. 64. Assign percentage from 0-100%</li></li></ul><li>Results<br />
  65. 65. OVERALL LINEAR MODEL<br /><ul><li>The overall model was significant
  66. 66. F(15, 168) = 2.22, p = .007
  67. 67. R2 = .407, Adjusted R2 = .091</li></li></ul><li>MORAL COMMITMENT:<br />Values about dissolution<br />* p &lt; .05 <br />
  68. 68. MORAL COMMITMENT:<br />Partner contract<br />* p &lt; .05 <br />
  69. 69. MORAL COMMITMENT:<br />Consistency values<br />* p &lt; .05 <br />
  70. 70. RELIGIOSITY<br />* p &lt; .05 <br />
  71. 71. SO THEN…<br /><ul><li>Women were significantly less likely to expect to engage in extramarital sex if they:
  72. 72. felt morally obligated to a partner
  73. 73. if they valued consistency
  74. 74. Values about relationship dissolution had no effect on infidelity expectations</li></li></ul><li>DISCUSSION<br /><ul><li>Previous research has found that religion lowers risk of infidelity
  75. 75. Moral commitment might serve as a mediator
  76. 76. Moral obligations to a partner (rather than God), as well as consistency values may account for the association between religiosity and infidelity expectations
  77. 77. religiosity may in fact protect against infidelity, while not significantly impacting expectations of infidelity</li></li></ul><li>DISCUSSION cont’d<br /><ul><li>Practitioners:
  78. 78. Can help protect couples from infidelity by strengthening each partner’s feelings of obligation toward their spouse and by enhancing their consistency values</li></li></ul><li>Acknowledgements<br />
  79. 79. Moral Commitment Religious Items<br /><ul><li>If you divorced, to what extent would you be disappointed in yourself because you had broken a sacred vow?
  80. 80. How much does getting a divorce violate your religious beliefs?</li>

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