n South African Journal of Psychiatry - A review of multispousal relationships - psychosocial effects and therapy

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1608-9685
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6786



Polygamy is defined as a marital system in which a man is married to more than one woman at the same time. This article reviews 210 articles from the literature. The aim is to place polygamy in a cultural context and suggest family therapy approaches to psychological and other stresses that may arise from these relationships. Polygamy is accepted and legally practised in many cultures worldwide. It may have both beneficial and deleterious psychosocial consequences for individuals involved in such relationships. Some of the issues arising in such multiparental families can be addressed by relational therapies, if those therapies are based on what is culturally acceptable.

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