Noah Corey, Psy.D., is a 2023 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Shannon McIntyre, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Katherine Evarts, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member


Extradyadic behavior, polyamory, attachment

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This study examines the emotional experience of extradyadic behavior (EDB) in polyamorous relationships through an attachment lens. Estimated prevalence rates suggest that one in nine people in the United States have engaged in polyamory at some point in their life (Moors et al., 2021). Attachment theory addresses with anxiety and separation in relationships, feelings likely aroused by extradyadic behavior, yet it has been minimally applied to this population (Moors et al., 2015, 2019). The current study utilized a phenomenological approach where eight participants were interviewed, examining the emotional experience of EDB in polyamorous relationships through an attachment lens. The study assessed each person’s adult attachment styles, by administering an Experiences in Close Relationships-Short Form (ECR-S) measure, and conducting a semi-structed interview of the participants’ experiences of EDB. The results suggested that those with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style expressed more avoidance when discussing their romantic relationships compared to other attachment styles. Additionally, individuals with fearful-avoidant attachment styles may have a decreased tolerance for ambivalence as compared to other attachment styles. The results also suggest that individuals in polyamorous relationships have increased capacity for increased open communication, tolerating ambivalence within relationships, and for developing a differentiated sense of self. Finally, results suggested there is a large role of society and internalized monogamous views that influence individuals’ experiences of polyamory. This research could be a reference for future research with more participants, and further inform clinical work with polyamorous clients.


Noah Corey

ORCID Scholar ID# 0009-0004-1204-6927