Exploring Psychopathology, Personality Traits, and Marital Distress Among Women Married to Hypersexual Men (2010)

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Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy: Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions

Volume 9, Issue 3, 2010

Rory C. Reidab, Bruce N. Carpentera, Elizabeth D. Draperc & Jill C. Manningd
pages 203-222

Version of record first published: 08 Jul 2010


This article reports the findings of a study investigating psychopathology, personality traits, and marital distress among a sample of women married to hypersexual men (n = 85) compared with a control group (n = 85) drawn from a combined college and community sample. Psychopathology and personality traits were measured using the NEO Personality Inventory—Revised (NEO–PI–R), and martial satisfaction was measured using the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS). A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) of between-group differences was significant. However, although there were a few minor differences with modest effect sizes, examination of post-hoc univariate tests revealed that generally, the wives did not show any more psychopathology or problematic personality traits than would be found within a community sample. In contrast, wives were significantly more distressed about their marriages compared with the controls. Overall, these findings contradict much of the existing research that characterizes wives of hypersexual men as being more depressed, anxious, and chemically dependent, as well as emotionally needy. These findings are discussed as they relate to clinical practice, and recommendations for future research are offered for investigators working with this population of women.