Assessing Contributing Factors of Relationship Satisfaction in Polyamorous and Monogamous Relationships

Irene Kushnir, Walden University


The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare factors contributing to relationship satisfaction in polyamorous and monogamous relationships, as measured by the Characteristics of Marriage Inventory (CHARISMA). A total of 372 participants over the age of 18 who identified as being involved in either a long-term monogamous or polyamorous relationship completed the CHARISMA questionnaire. Two multivariate analyses of variance revealed 10 out of 18 importance ratings, and 4 out of the 18 satisfactions ratings were statistically significant between relationship types. However, an analysis of variance suggested no overall difference in satisfaction between the two groups. Past research had presented factors leading to relationship satisfaction, which used the interaction of these factors to predict the degree of satisfaction in monogamous relationships. Systems theory guided the conceptualization of how complex systems organize themselves and operate. This study was built on the hypothesis that the relationship interaction processes influence the relationship between relationship characteristics and marital satisfaction, and relationship interaction processes themselves influence relationship satisfaction. This study analyzed the interaction between these factors in polyamorous individuals and monogamous individuals and how their experiences compare to each other.