A content analysis of scholarship on consensual nonmonogamies: Methodological roadmaps, current themes, and directions for future research

Melanie Elyse Brewster, Blake Soderstrom, Jessica Esposito, Aaron Breslow, Jacob Sawyer, Elizabeth Geiger, Negar Morshedian, Sarah Arango, Taymy Caso, Aasha Foster, Riddhi Sandil, Jacks Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study provides a content analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles about consensual nonmonogamy (CNM) from a social scientific lens published from 1926 through 2016, excluding articles specific to polygamy or other faith-based relational practices. The content analysis yielded 116 articles, with most of the articles being nonempirical research (n=74) rather than empirical studies (n=42). Although the number of published articles about CNM has increased significantly in recent decades (n=26 from 1926 to 2000 compared with n=90 from 2001 to 2016), the topics discussed in CNM literature were narrow in scope and focused on (a) relationship styles, (b) CNM stigma, and/or (c) LGBTQ issues. Content analysis data showed that the vast majority of articles were published in journals about sexuality, suggesting that CNM remains an underexamined topic in psychological science. Additionally, only a handful of the total articles centered on topics related to family concerns (n=5) or training and counseling (n=2). Findings from this content analysis suggest that individuals and families who practice CNM are an underserved and understudied group that would benefit from advancements in psychological scholarship specific to their experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Consensual nonmonogamy
  • Open relationships
  • Polyamory
  • Swingers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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