Is growing up in a polygamous household bad for kids?
In a culture where it’s not stigmatized, seems the answer might be no:
Previous studies of polygamy and child mental health have primarily focused on younger children. The present studies are among the first to focus on adolescents. The first study involved 210 randomly selected Bedouin Arab adolescents (mean age 15.9), who were administered instruments assessing their family environment and mental health. The second study involved 182 Bedouin Arab adolescents in which the student participants completed a single instrument about themselves and in which the teachers of the students completed the Teachers’ Report Form of the Child Behaviour Checklist by Achenbach. The Bedouin Arab adolescents fell into two groups: (a) adolescents in monogamous family structures and (b) adolescents in polygamous family structures. The findings of the first study suggest that the two groups did not differ significantly in the majority of the assessed variables, even though there were significant differences obtained between groups for 4 of the 13 assessed variables. The two groups did not differ significantly in the second study. Results were discussed in terms of their cultural and developmental significance.
Source: “The relationship between monogamous/polygamous family structure and the mental health of bedouin Arab adolescents” from Journal of Adolescence, Volume 30, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 213-230
I’ve never seen Big Love but have heard some good things. Does anyone recommend it? There’s been some controversy lately over the polygamy in America issue lately and for background I’d recommend checking out Frontline’s piece on this history of the Mormons which provides some interesting insight.
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