A review of multispousal relationships - psychosocial effects and therapy

M Y H Moosa, R Benjamin, F Y Jeenah


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.

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v12i2.59

Submitted: 03 March 2008
Published: 01 June 2006

African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd t/a AOSIS
Reg No: 2002/002017/07
RSA Tel: 086 1000 381
International Tel: +27 21 975 2602
15 Oxford Street, Durbanville, Cape Town, 7550, South Africa
publishing(AT)aosis.co.za replace (AT) with @

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.
Website design & content: ©2018 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get specific, domain-collection newsletters detailing the latest CPD courses, scholarly research and call-for-papers in your field.


South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)