Alsharfi, M., Pfeffer, K. & Miller, K. A. (2016). The effects of polygamy on children and adolescents: a systematic review. Journal of Family Studies, 22(3), 272-286.

The objective was to review research that examined the effects of polygyny (a specific form of polygamy) on children and adolescents. A systematic literature search and review was conducted of research published 1994–2014 that focused on psychological variables, primary data collection, and compared data on children and adolescents from polygynous families with monogamous families. Critical analysis included the relevance of methods to the culture, including the psychometric properties reported. A total of 13 papers satisfied the inclusion criteria. The review found more mental health problems, social problems and lower academic achievement for children and adolescents from polygynous than monogamous families. Similarities between children and adolescents from polygynous and monogamous families included self-esteem, anxiety and depression scores. Although polygynous family structures appear to have detrimental effects on children and adolescents, the mediating effects of parental education, economy and family functioning need to be investigated.

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