Infidelity is perhaps the most challenging issue confronting couple therapists and has a high prevalence amongst couples in both clinical and community settings. Despite significant expansion of this field of research in recent years, there has not been a comprehensive review of the literature since 2005. Without such a review, it is problematic for clinicians and researchers to determine best practices and areas needing further inquiry. This article builds on the two most recent reviews (Allen et al., 2005; Blow & Hartnett, 2005) and provides a systematic critical review of the literature on infidelity published in the last 15 years. Key areas of focus include: types of fidelity, its prevalence, its psychological and functional impacts, therapists' attitudes towards managing infidelity disclosure are highlighted as particular areas of importance and focus. Additionally, the status of the recent literature was evaluated with respect to the recommendations of past critical reviews, and updated recommendations for future research are provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Adultery; Couples therapy; Marriage counselors -- Attitudes

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Kathleen Eldridge