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Linking infidelity stress, anxiety and depression: evidence from Pakistan married couples and divorced individuals

Aneesa Azhar (Department of Psychology, Foundation University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan)
Jaffar Abbas (School of Sociology and Political Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China)
Zhang Wenhong (School of Sociology and Political Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China)
Tanvir Akhtar (Department of Psychology, Foundation University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan)
Muhammad Aqeel (Department of Psychology, Foundation University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 28 June 2018

Issue publication date: 2 July 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating role of marital status between infidelity and development of stress, anxiety and depression. Additionally, to investigate the relationship among infidelity, stress, anxiety and depression among married couples and divorced individual.

Design/methodology/approach

A purposive sampling technique was used based on cross-sectional design. In total, 200 participants (married couples, n=100; divorced individuals, n=100) were incorporated from different NGO’s and welfare organizations of Rawalpindi, and Islamabad, Pakistan. Age ranged from 20 to 60 years. Two scales were used to measure the infidelity, stress, anxiety and depression in married couples and divorced couples.

Findings

The result revealed that emotional infidelity was positively significant correlated with stress (r=0.39, p=0.001), anxiety (r=0.40, p=0.001) and depression (r=0.35, p=0.001) for married couples. The result also displayed that sexual infidelity was positively significant correlated with stress (r=0.39, p=0.001), anxiety (r=0.39, p=0.001) and depression (r=0.34, p=0.001) for married couples. The result further elaborated that emotional infidelity and sexual infidelities were positively non-significant correlated with stress, anxiety and depression for divorced individuals. The analysis results revealed that marital status was moderator between infidelity and development of stress, anxiety and depression.

Research limitations/implications

This paper consisted of sample from three basic cities of Pakistan; thus, this paper finding may not be applied on whole population. Consequently, explanatory, exploratory and descriptive studies would be useful to enlighten the infidelity’s mechanism in prolongation of psychological distress across married couples and divorced individual in detail. Local tools to measure gender-related issues would be helpful in prospect while it combine cultural aspects as well.

Social implications

This study would be helpful in clinical settings to raise the awareness to effectively deal with their children.

Originality/value

The study recommended that those divorced individuals who had experienced either sexual infidelity or emotional infidelity were more likely to develop psychological problems as compared to married couples. This study would be helpful in clinical settings to raise the awareness to effectively deal with their children.

Keywords

Citation

Azhar, A., Abbas, J., Wenhong, Z., Akhtar, T. and Aqeel, M. (2018), "Linking infidelity stress, anxiety and depression: evidence from Pakistan married couples and divorced individuals", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 214-228. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-11-2017-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited