Polygamy: Chaos in the Relationships of Children

Article Title: Polygamy: Chaos in the Relationships of Children

Author(s): Aneeza Pervez & Syeda Shahida Batool

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, Government College University Lahore

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2016, Vol. 14, No.1, 30-35

Correspondence Address: Aneeza Pervez Department of Psychology, GC University Lahore, e-mail: aneezapervez@gmail.com & Syeda Shahida Batool, Department of Psychology, GC University Lahore, Pakistan; e-mail: shahidaphd@yahoo.com


Polygyny occurs when a man is married to multiple partners at one time. It is an act that alters the family structure and has been known to affect the lived experiences of all family members involved. The purpose of the study was to explore the immediate and long-term and lasting effects of Polygamy on the interpersonal and social relationships of children from polygamous families. A sample of six participants between the age range of 24 and 30 years, was recruited (3 men and 3 women). The impact of polygyny on the social and interpersonal relations of the participants was explored using semi-structured interviews. The data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The participants described the immediate and long-term effect that polygamy had on their relations with their immediate family, step-family and romantic and social relations. The results of the study indicated that the experience of polygamous households were underlined with negative experiences such as the disintegration of the family unit, a sense of deprivation and social, economic and educational constraints. These factors in turn affected the participants’ relationships with their immediate and step families, and marital relationships. It was concluded that polygamy has an adverse impact of the interpersonal relations of individuals and lead to discord and maladjustment in their social and romantic lives.

Key words: polygyny, interpersonal, social relationships, step families, maladjustment

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