Women of Polygamous Marriages in Primary Health Care Centers

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43 Scopus citations


Clinical implications for working with polygamous families are discussed following a report of research among a sample of 126 Bedouin-Arab women from polygamous marriages who were being seen in primary health care centers. Of these, 94 were senior wives who were followed by another wife in the marriage, and 32 were junior wives, the most recent wife joining the marriage. Data revealed that senior wives reported lower self-esteem as compared to junior wives. Findings also snowed that senior wives reported poorer relationships with their husbands compared to their junior counterparts. Often when a husband married a second wife, the marriage could be based on love, rather than parental arrangement, an exchange, or consanguinity as in the first. These factors also contribute to the senior wife's low self-esteem and marital dissatisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-430
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1999


  • Bedouin-Arabs
  • Polygamy
  • Senior and junior wives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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