Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Contextual Factors in Engaging in and Responding to Extramarital Involvement


Address correspondence to Elizabeth S. Allen, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, CB173, PO Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217–3364. E-mail: elizabeth.allen(5)


Extramarital involvement (EMI) occurs with high prevalence among couples in clinical and community settings, frequently resulting in considerable distress both to participants and their spouses. The field lacks a synthesized review of this literature. Without such a synthesis, it has been difficult for researchers and clinicians to have an understanding of what is and is not known about EMI. This article reviews the large and scattered EMI literature using a framework that encompasses multiple source domains across the temporal process of engaging in and responding to EMI. In addition, this review delineates conceptual and methodological limitations to previous work in this area and articulates directions for further research.