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International Journal of Psychological Research

versión impresa ISSN 2011-2084

int.j.psychol.res. vol.14 no.1 Medellín ene./jun. 2021  Epub 15-Jun-2021 

Research articles

Validation of the Multidimensional Inventory of Infidelity (IMIN) in Colombian Population

Validación del Inventario Multidimensional de Infidelidad (IMIN) en población colombiana

Fernando Riveros-Munévar1  * 

Luis Enrique Prieto-Patiño1 

Laura Marroquín-Ortegón1 

Mariana Cardona-Rodríguez1 

Camilo Delgado-Zapata1 

Yuri Rodriguez-Nino1 

1Grupo de investigación Procesos Biológicos y Neurociencias. Facultad de Psicología. Universidad de La Sabana, Campus del Puente del Común, Km 7 Autopista Norte de Bogotá, Chía, Cundinamarca, Colombia.


Infidelity is a problem that entails psychological and physical consequences in humankind (Buss, 2016; González et al., 2009; Shackelford et al., 2003); thus, indicating the importance of measuring infidelity construct. The objective of the study was to determine the validity and reliability of the Multidimensional Infidelity Inventory (IMIN) for Colombian samples. For this, the instrument was applied to 674 Colombian participants, 224 men (33.28%) and 449 women (66.71%), with ages between 18 and 81 years (M = 25.11; SD = 10.56), carrying out exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory, and internal consistency for each subscale. In general, in the Motives to infidelity scale, three factors were found that explained 66.74% of the total accumulated variance; three factors were found in the Trend to Infidelity scale, explaining 65.02% of the total variance; in the sub-scale of Beliefs to infidelity, five factors were obtained, explaining 58.33% of the accumulated variance; and in the sub-scale of Consequences of infidelity, two clearly constituted factors were found, which explain 57.58% of the accumulated variance. All of them had confirmatory models with adequate levels of goodness of fit, adequate Cronbach alpha indicators, item-item, and item-test correlations, in addition to concordance with the original proposal of the instrument.

Keywords: Infidelity; couple; validity; reliability; Colombia


La infidelidad es un importante constructo a medir, al ser una problemática que conlleva consecuencias psicológicas y físicas (Buss, 2016; González et al., 2009; Shackelford et al., 2003). Se buscó determinar la validez y la confiabilidad del Inventario Multidimensional de Infidelidad (IMIN) para muestras colombianas. Se aplicó el instrumento a 674 participantes colombianos, 224 hombres (33.28%) y 449 mujeres (66.71%), con edades comprendidas entre los 18 y 81 años (M = 25.11; DE = 10.56), llevando a cabo análisis factoriales exploratorios, confirmatorios y de consistencia interna para cada subescala. En la escala de Tendencia a la infidelidad, se identificaron 3 factores que explicaron el 66.74% de la varianza total acumulada; en la escala de Motivos a la infidelidad, se hallaron siete factores, explicando el 65.02% de la varianza total; en la subescala de Creencias a la infidelidad, se obtuvieron cinco factores, explicando el 58.33% de la varianza acumulada; y en la subescala de Consecuencias de la infidelidad se hallaron dos factores claramente constituidos, que explican el 57.58% de la varianza acumulada. Todos los anteriores tenían modelos confirmatorios con adecuados niveles de bondad de ajuste y adecuados indicadores alfas de Cronbach, correlaciones ítem-ítem e ítem-prueba, además de concordancia con la propuesta original del instrumento.

Palabras Clave: Infidelidad; pareja; validez; confiabilidad; Colombia

1. Introduction

Infidelity is a phenomenon that has been seen over the years in different generations and countries. The report by Wang (2018, January 10) shows that between 2000 and 2009, the highest rate of infidelity was transferred to men aged 60 to 69 years (29%) and women aged 50 to 59 years (17%); however, the gap of gender from the age of 80 increased from 5% to 12% in two decades. Regarding Latin-American countries , Redacción El Tiempo (2010, October 2) published a survey made in 11 countries of the region, in which it is mentioned that 6 out of 10 Latin Americans (63%) admit been unfaithful at some time, with a males bieng prodiminant.

Regarding the relevance of culture, authors such as Rada (2012), Fincham and May (2016) and Rosenberg (2018) point out the influence that different messages can have, not only on topics such as sexuality, love, and adultery, but also high divers terminology referring to the term of infidelity and the cultural conceptions of it. Thus, there are differences in the moral perception of unfaithful behavior in 39 countries surveyed in six regions (Wike, 2014) and there are societies, in which unfaithful behavior is censored depending on whether it was committed by the man or the woman (Buss, 2016).

Now, it is pertinent to mention the impact that infidelity has on physical and emotional health. In this regard, there are studies that point to infidelity as one of the main causes of divorce in couples (Allen & Atkins, 2012; Amato & Previti, 2003; Buss & Shackelford, 1997; Buss, 2016; Eslami et al., 2018; Scott et al., 2013). Besides, when comparing married couples and divorced couples, it is found in the latter higher levels of psychological distress, substance abuse, depression, and lower levels in general health (Hughes & Waite, 2009). At the same time, it has been found that casual sex that does not occur within the scope of a marriage, in which there is a promise for a lifetime that gives fertility and fulfillment to the act, can generate emotional and psychological effects on people (McIlhaney Jr & Bush, 2018). Also, infidelity generates loss of self-esteem, identity crisis (Thompson & O’Sullivan, 2016), depression/anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (Cano & O’Leary, 2000; Rosenberg, 2018; Stosny, 2013), anger, irritability, and chronic resentment that can generate short and long-term health effects (Hughes & Waite, 2009; Stosny, 2013).

In addition, infidelity has been found as a risk factor for violence against women, up to the point of homicide (Buss, 2016; González et al., 2009; Shackelford et al., 2003). Furthermore, those who have sex with a second partner have low rates of condom use (Conley et al., 2012), which carries a direct risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection; thus, pointing to a public health problem (Hall et al., 2008).

In relation to the factors that influence unfaithful behavior, different studies give relevance to the quality of the couple’s relationship; its satisfaction being a relevant factor for unfaithful behavior (Medina et al., 2013; Negash et al., 2014; Whisman et al., 2007). Likewise, Whisman et al. (2007) mentioned low self-esteem and suspicion of an affair as predictive variables of infidelity, mentioning as well that a variable that predicted infidelity above the effects of marital dissatisfaction and demographic variables was religiosity, which was negatively associated with infidelity and it seems to act as a protective factor that weakens the association between marital dissatisfaction and infidelity. In addition, higher levels of education, being of the same religion, greater commitment, and marital cohabitation compared to non-marital cohabitation are variables that decrease the possibility of committing infidelity at the couple level (Fincham & May, 2016).

At the same time, regarding individual characteristics, different authors mention the influence of personality traits such as narcissism, lack of empathy, grandiosity, impulsiveness, high search for novelties or strong emotions, and having an avoidant attachment style (Buss & Shackelford, 1997; González et al., 2009; Mark et al., 2011; Rosenberg, 2018; Whisman et al., 2007). Similarly, family history of infidelity, having been unfaithful in previous relationships, greater number of sexual partners, alcohol problems, drug use, insecure attachment, high psychological anguish, and a permissive attitude towards sexuality are variables identified as risk factors that facilitate infidelity (Fincham & May, 2016).

Regarding the sex variable, a greater number of men reported having sexual infidelity with respect to women (81.9 vs 50%; Rada, 2012), being consistent with Buss (2016). Additionally, it was found that women tend to associate infidelity with the need for communication, affection and a “weak personality”, while men with “unsatisfied sexual needs” (Rada, 2012, p. 221). Furthermore, Shackelford et al. (2002) point out that men find it more difficult to forgive sexual infidelity than a emotional one and are more likely to end a current relationship after the sexual infidelity of a partner than a emotional infidelity. In turn, the literature suggests that women would be more distressed than men if their partners were unfaithful with a very attractive rival (Buss et al., 2000; Buunk et al., 2007). This is due to the fact that in the ancestral history of humanity, men have valued the physical attractiveness of a potential partner more than women, because physical attractiveness represents an important indication of a woman’s fertility (Kato, 2019).

On the whole, unfaithful behavior is relevant for the clinical field: on the one hand, considering the psychological and physical consequences generated by infidelity; on the other hand, the existing need to provide people with tools to facilitate the resignification, adaptation and coping with infidelity (Rosenberg, 2018; Stosny, 2013). Therefore, it is important to better understand the phenomenon of unfaithful behavior in order to prevent and promote aspects that favor the satisfaction, quality, and stability of couple relationships in the therapeutic field, as well as the management of those risk factors of the previously mentioned unfaithful conduct, considering as well that couple difficulties are a reason for consultation between 25% and 35% of the times (Quesada, 2004), and together with divorce, they turn out to be the reason for consultation a 25.6% in women and a 14.7% in men (Barrera et al., 2017). In this way, interventions to support couples can also prevent the impact that children may have due to parental conflict (Reynolds & Houlston, 2014).

Having said that, for the purposes of this study, infidelity will be understood as a series of behaviors of a romantic and/or sexual nature that occur outside of a relationship, both in married members, single, living together or not, where the expectation of sexual and/or emotional exclusivity and the commitment established in the relationship are unfulfilled (Afifi et al., 2001; Romero-Palencia et al., 2007; Torres et al., 2016).

Regarding the construct of infidelity, different instruments have been designed over the years for its measurement, such as the Glass and Wright (1992) Justifications for Extramarital Involvement Questionnaire (JEIQ); the instrument of Buss and Shackelford (1997) to measure susceptibility to six types of infidelity; the instrument of Banfield and McCabe (2001) about sexual and emotional infidelity; the Infidelity Questionnaire (Yeniceri & Kökdemir, 2006), among others. However, although these instruments have addressed some aspects of infidelity, the Multidimensional Inventory of Infidelity (IMIN), created by Romero-Palencia et al. (2007), allows to measure infidelity in a more comprehensive way, encompassing factors such as unfaithful behavior, the reasons why the person would be unfaithful, their concepts of infidelity, and the perceived consequences of it, aspects widely named by the previously mentioned literature.

Furthermore, the IMIN has been used by different authors in Spanish-speaking samples: the studyby CalderónPérez et al. (2018) about the relationship between jealousy and infidelity in Mexican participants; also in Mexico, the research carried out by Romero-Palencia et al. (2014) about the prediction of sexual desire in heterosexual women; the study carried out by Reyes Osejo (2018) on members of the “National Police Command” in the city of Quito; the research carried out in Colombia (Torres et al., 2016) to study the relationship between infidelity and emotional intelligence with university students in Bogotá; finally, the research by Britos et al. (2019), in which the IMIN obtained a reliability of .96 from the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient, and was used to identify the characteristics of unfaithful behavior in people residing in Paraguay who had had a relationship.

Regarding its validity and reliability, a psychometric analysis of the IMIN was carried out in a sample of university students from the city of Cartagena in Colombia (Geney et al., 2018). After carrying out the Exploratory Factor Analysis, this study reported the following adjustments in the four subscales: in the Tendency to infidelity subscale, 25 items were eliminated for a final total of 23 items (Cronbach’s Alpha of .95); in the Motives Subscale, 20 items were eliminated for a total of 50 final items (Cronbach’s Alpha of .97); in the subscale of Beliefs of infidelity, 10 items were eliminated for a total of 34 final items (Cronbach’s Alpha of .95); finally, in the subscale of Consequences of infidelity, 2 items were eliminated for a total of 11 final items (Cronbach’s Alpha of .91). It should be clarified that the original IMIN factors were preserved in the 4 subscales, leaving as a suggestion the modification of the name of the Insecurity factor by one called Communication Problems in the Beliefs to Infidelity subscale.

In this way, Geney et al. (2018) report that the scale yields appropriate validity and reliability indicators for higher education students in the city mentioned. However, no other studies of its psychometric properties are found in the non-university population in Colombia, which refers to the need for this study, which aims to determine the validity and reliability of the IMIN for Colombian samples. The specific objectives were to determine the validity of the IMIN for Colombian samples, and to identify the reliability patterns of the IMIN for those samples. As a working hypothesis, it is proposed that from the psychometric analysis carried out of the IMIN, adequate validity and reliability indices will be obtained to be used in the Colombian population.

2. Method

2.1 Design

This research is psychometric and instrumental (Montero & León, 2007), which sought to determine the validity and reliability of IMIN for the Colombian population.

2.2 Participants

In the present study, 673 Colombians participated voluntarily, 224 men (33.28%) and 449 women (66.71%). Theywerebetween the agesof 18 and 81 (M = 25.11; SD = 10.56). Of these, 47.3% reported having a stable couple relationship (n = 319 people). The participants were obtained through a non-probabilistic sampling by available subjects, to whom this inventory was applied.

Other socio-demographic variables were taken into account, such as marital status, where 80.7% are reported as single, 6.8% as a couple, 9.2% married, 2.4% separated, and 0.6% widowed. In addition, the people who were in a relationship at the time of filling out the instrument were taken into account, that is, 317 participants (47.2%); on the other hand, the number of subjects who responded negatively to this statement was 355 (52.8%).

It should be noted that the only exclusion criterion taken into account was that the participants couldnt be minors. This sampling was used to ensure the heterogeneity of the participants. It should be noted that the sample was divided in two: the first sample (n=200, 67 men and 133 women) was used to carry out the exploratory factor analyses and the second sample to verify the factor structure (n = 474, 158 men and 316 women).

2.3 Instrument

IMIN (Romero-Palencia et al., 2007), which consists of four subscales: Infidelity Tendency (Cronbach’s Alpha of .98), composed of 48 items with Likert and Semantic Differential response options, grouped into four factors corresponding to Sexual Infidelity, Emotional Infidelity Desire, Sexual Infidelity Desire and Emotional Infidelity, with items such as “I have flirted with another person(s) besides my partner” and “I have desired to kiss another person(s) besides my partner”; Reasons for infidelity (Cronbach’s Alpha of .98), composed of 70 items grouped into seven factors corresponding to Dissatisfaction in the primary relationship, Sexuality, Emotional and social instability, Ideology and norms, Impulsivity, Apathy, and Aggression, with statements such as “I would be unfaithful for lack of love in my relationship” and “I would be unfaithful for revenge”; Beliefs in infidelity (Cronbach’s Alpha of .96), composed of 44 items grouped into six factors corresponding to Transgression of the relationship, Feeling of loss, Dissatisfaction, Passion, Insecurity, and Love for another; reagents such as “Love” and “Disinterest” were used; lastly, Consequences of infidelity (Cronbach’s Alpha of .77), composed of 13 items grouped into two factors corresponding to Positive consequences and Negative consequences, with statements such as “An infidelity can help save a relationship" and "Infidelity spoils couples”.

It is important to note that at the beginning of the instrument a questionnaire in which the items were intended to collect additional sociodemographic characteristics of the participants was added. The information collected from this questionnaire was age, sex, highest academic level, occupation, marital status, whether the person was in a relationship (if the answer was affirmative, it should also indicate the length of time in the relationship), how many relationships has the person had, and in how many relationships has the person had sex.

2.4 Process

Initially, contact was established with the original authors of the scale, who authorized the use of the instrument. Later, expert judges validated the terms for the Colombian population. Once the review and the respective adjustments of the evaluators were made, a pilot test of the instrument was carried out on 30 participants, with the aim of verifying the instructions, the understanding of the items, the time of application, and the test scoring procedures. The test was developed in a classroom setting, where the participants were asked to read the test, and while answering it, to indicate if any of the items were not understood; however, no one reported the need to make modifications.

As for the applications, these were carried out under the presence modality by means of the use of pencil and paper, where the person was contacted directly, the informed consent was presented in physical form, and the application of the test in paper was carried out at this same moment. This was done in different contexts: academic spaces such as different universities, classrooms, halls, as well as in different open spaces, and also in the participantsť homes. These applications were made individually and also in groups.

On the other hand, in relation to the virtual modality, it was carried out through the Google Forms platform, where the informed consent was also established, so they had to accept in order to proceed and continue with the Instrument. As for the contact with the participants in this modality, it was done by a snowball type sampling through social networks, email and contacts of the researchers: they were sent the link that directed them to the questionnaire; in turn, participants were asked to share this questionnaire with more people. As far as identification data is concerned, at the time the database was downloaded, all responses of possible identification data such as IP addresses and e-mails were deleted to ensure the anonymity and confidentiality that had been given to the individuals. It is worth mentioning that in none of the modalities of application of the questionnaire did the participants receive financial remuneration.

In both cases, the instructions, the informed consent, and the clarification that their participation would not be rewarded in any way were explicit.

Once the responses of each participant were obtained, the database was refined for further analyses, through the Mahalanobis extreme distance test, eliminating regression weights greater than 100. Followed by the sample adequacy analysis and the correlation matrix, the exploratory factor analyses of each subscale through the extractionof unweighted least squareswith direct Oblimin rotation, obtaining the factors through the parallel Horn analysis, the reliability analysis through Cronbach’s alphas, item-item and item-test correlations, and finally a confirmatory factor analysis with maximum likelihood extraction methods. The following values were expected: the relationship χ 2 /df , which suggests that having a value less than or equal to 3 presents an excellent or very good adjustment, and values less than 5 are classified as good adjustment; RMSEA (quadratic error of the average by approximation), whose expected value is < .08; and the CFI, GFI and TLI indexes values .85 (Lloret-Segura et al., 2014; Ruiz et al., 2010; Sandin et al., 2007). The exploratory and reliability factor analyses were performed with the SPSS program, the parallel analysis of Horn with the R program, while the confirmatory analyses were carried out with the Amos application, both version 24.

Table 1 Distribution of reagents for the infidelity trend subscale 

1 2 3
I have wanted to have sexual contact with another person(s) besides my partner. .88
I have wanted to have sex with someone other than my partner(s). .87
I have wanted to kiss someone else(s) besides my partner. .82
I have been attracted to someone else besides my partner. .80
I have wanted to have sex with someone else(s) besides my partner. .71
I have become interested in someone else besides my partner. .68
I have thought of someone else(s) besides my partner. .65
I have wanted to fulfill my sexual fantasies with someone else(s) be sides my partner. .62
I have flirted with other person(s) besides my partner. .52
I have had sex with someone other than my partner(s). -.95
I have had sex with other person(s) besides my partner. -.91
I have had sexual contact with someone other than my partner. -.88
I have cheated on my partner with another person(s) -.84
I have betrayed my partner with another person(s). -.81
I have had another loving partner(s). -.68
I wanted to have extra-marital relations. -.57
I have fallen in love with someone else(s) besides my partner. .53
I have loved someone else(s) besides my partner. .51
I have become romantically involved with another person(s). .48
I have become affectionately acacquainted with person(s) other than my partner. .42

3. Results

In order to determine the viability of the sample size and the correlation matrix for the factorial analysis, the KMO values are shown obtaining indicators higher than .8 (.94), and from Bartlett’s sphericity test a significance lower than .05 (.00) was found, which allows affirming the viability of the factorial analysis. In the same way, it was carried out an extraction analysis of all the reagents for each subscale, finding loads higher than .3, which suggests the conservation of all the items. To facilitate the presentation of the information of the factorial and reliability analyses, and to develop the findings in a similar way to the original study, the analyses for each subscale are shown separately.

3.1 Infidelity Trend Subscale

The exploratory analysis shows a grouping of the reagents in three factors, which manage to explain 66.74% of the total accumulated variance, and whose distribution of items is shown in Table 1.

The distribution of the items illustrated in Table 1 show coherence with the theoretical proposal and the original distribution, although one factor integrates two factors of the original scale (the factors of “Desire for sexual infidelity” and “Desire for emotional infidelity” are merged into one factor called “Desire to be unfaithful”). The following is the confirmation model obtained for the infidelity tendency subscale (Figure S1).

3.2 Subscale of reasons for infidelity

For this subtest, factor analysis refers to a grouping into seven factors, which together explain 65.01% of the total variance. This grouping can be seen in Table 2.

As can be noted in Table 2, a distribution was found in seven factors, whose distribution maintains the organization of the reagents in the original study. The confirmatory model of this subscale of reasons is shown in Figure S2. It should be explained that the indexes of goodness of adjustment of the model and the indicators of the items refer to the elimination of three items (17=“I hate my partner”, 21=“Because that is how I was educated”, and 24=“Lack of passion in my relationship with my partner”).

3.3 Subscale of beliefs to infidelity

In this subtest it was found that the exploratory factor analysis refers to five factors, which manage to explain 58.33% of the total accumulated variance, and whose distribution of items is seen in Table 3.

Table 3 allows us to denote that the distribution in five factors shows coherence with the theoretical proposal; however, there is a factor (Factor 1) that combines the original items of the factors Transgression to the relationship and Dissatisfaction, which will be called "Dissatisfaction of the relationship". The confirmatory model is shown (See Figure S3) adjusted after the goodness of fit analyzes, as it was considered pertinent to eliminate two items (1=“Lack of commitment”; 26=“Insecurity”).

Table 2 Distribution of items for the subscale of reasons for infidelity 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Distancing with my partner. .734
Physical distance between me and my partner. .608
Instability. .487
Dishonesty. .438
Unhappiness. .415
Lack of attraction with my partner. -.301
Lack of affection in my relationship. -.959
Lack of love in my relationship. -.957
Lack of communication with my partner. -.726
Lack of interest in my relationship. -.662
Lack of attention from my partner. -.628
Search for new adventures. -.849
Searching for pleasure. -.843
Entertainment. -.819
Fulfilling my fantasies. -.748
Seek sexual variety. -.732
Lack of passion in my relationship. -.343
Revenge. .934
Betrayal. .763
Anger .716
Hate towards my partner. .412
Because that is my character. -.726
Because that’s the way I think. -.69
Because that’s how I was raised. -.651
Economic problems. -.492 .309
Cowardice. .549
Lack of self-love. .477
Selfishness. .446
Lack of self-control. .839
Impulsiveness. .743
Irresponsibility. .7
My lack of temper. .617
Because I make mistakes. .508

3.3.1 Subscale of the consequences of infidelity

The exploratory factor analysis for this subscale shows two factors, which explain 57.58% of the total variance, and whose distribution of items is observed in Table 4.

As can be seen in Table 4, the distribution of the items in two factors preserves their original organization. The confirmatory factor analysis of the sample is shown in Figure S4.

To denote the indices of goodness of fit for each subscale, Table 5 is shown.

Regarding reliability, Table 6 refers to the Cronbach alphas of the total scale and of each subscale, as well as the correlation coefficients between parts and two Guttman halves.

Finally, internal consistency analyzes were carried out, finding positive correlations greater than 0.4 among all the items in each subscale, in addition to Cronbach’s alphas, which would be affected by the hypothetical elimination of each item by subscale.

4. Discussion

Taking into account that infidelity is, on the one hand, a problem that impacts people’s lives on a psychological and physical level, generating loss of self-esteem, identity crisis, depression/anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (Cano & O’Leary, 2000; Rosenberg, 2018; Stosny, 2013; Thompson & O’Sullivan, 2016), and involvement in the immune system (Hughes & Waite, 2009; Stosny, 2013); and, on the other hand, that it is one of the main causes of divorce (Allen & Atkins, 2012; Amato & Previti, 2003; Buss & Shackelford, 1997; Buss, 2016; Eslami et al., 2018; Scott et al., 2013), which significantly affects not only the couple’s relationship, but also its physical and psychological health (Hughes & Waite, 2009). Infidelity turns out to be a construct of clinical interest that needs to be measured considering, in addition that couple difficulties and divorce are a relevant reason for consultation at the therapeutic level (Barrera et al., 2017; Quesada, 2004). Therefore, the main objective of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of the IMIN for the Colombian population, taking into account that there are few studies concerning its suitability and psychometric properties.

Table 3 Distribution of items for the subscale of beliefs to infidelity 

1 2 3 4 5
Lack of Commitment. .955
Lack of respect. .841
Disinterest. .737
Dishonesty. .707
Lack of communication. .663
Incongruency. .642
Instability. .570
Indifference. .543
Ignorance. .354
Disappointment. .352
Confussion. .333
Desire. .883
Passion. .842
Liking. .793
Sex. .652
Curiosity. .590
Affection. .929
Understanding. .861
Love. .855
Communication. .716
Sadness. -.829
Fear. -.716
Loneliness. -.702
Emptiness. -.625
Revenge. -.547
Unsafety. -.363
Cowardice. .731
Low self-esteem. .727
Jealousy. .558

Table 4 Distribution of items for the consequences of infidelity subscale 

1 2
Infidelity spoils couples. .89
Infidelity devalues the partner. .87
Having another partner wears down the relationship. .83
Infidelity is always bad for couples. .70
Infidelity destroys relationships. .65
Infidelity can help save a relationship. .85
Having another partner helps you cope with marriage problems. .74
Infidelity helps to revalue the couple. .67
Infidelity helps maintain partners. .62
Infidelity is not always harmful for couples. .52

In the Tendency to infidelity scale, 3 factors were found that explained 66.744% of the total accumulated variance, grouping the items into the factors of desire to be unfaithful, tendency to emotional infidelity and tendency to sexual infidelity. On the scale of Motives for infidelity, seven factors were found, explaining 65.019% of the total variance, which correspond to Dissatisfaction with the primary relationship, sexuality, emotional and social instability, ideology and norms, impulsivity, apathy, and aggression, although the elimination of items 17=“I hate my partner” is necessary; 21=“Because that’s how they educated me” and 24=“Lack of passion in my relationship as a couple.” In the subscale of Beliefs to infidelity, five factors were obtained, explaining 58.331% of the accumulated variance: one factor combining the original items of the factors Transgression to relationship and Dissatisfaction, and the other four factors being feelings of loss, passion, insecurity, and love for another, recommending the elimination of items 1=“Lack of commitment” and 26=“Insecurity”.

Table 5 Goodness-of-fit indices for each subscale 

Subtest χ 2 G.L χ 2 /G.L GFI AGFI TLI CFI RMSEA
Expected - - 3 ≥ .85 ≥ .85 ≥ .90 ≥ .90 .08
Trend 397.49 153 2.59 .89 .85 .94 .95 .07
Reasons 1035.11 374 2.76 .89 .86 .93 .94 .05
Beliefs 627.13 306 2.04 .86 .83 .91 .93 .05
Consequences 83.46 32 2.60 .95 .91 .95 .96 .07

Note. χ2=Chi squared; G.L.=Degrees of Freedom; GF1=AGFI goodness of fit index; =standardized goodness of-fit index; TLI=Tucker Lewis index; CFI=comparative fit index; RMSEA=Square error of the mean by approximation.

Table 6 Cronbach’s alphas and coefficient of two halves of the general scale and of the subscales 

Scale Alpha Correlation between parts Two halves
Full scale. .93 .75 .84
Trend. .94 .84 .91
Reasons. .94 .77 .86
Beliefs. .90 .84 .91
Negative consequences. .90 .79 .88
Positive consequences. .79 .53 .66

Finally, in the subscale of Consequences of infidelity, two clearly constituted factors were found, called negative consequences and positive consequences, which explain 57.585% of the accumulated variance. Despite these adjustments, the original test structures are preserved, and no categoriesor dimensions are removed, which continues to ensure the validity of the test content.

Similarly, the findings show models with adequate levels of goodness of fit, which allows confirming the conceptual proposal of the scale, and rectifying the validity of the subscales and the instrument in general. Regarding reliability, a general alpha of .93, high alphas was found for each subscale (except for the positive consequences subscale, with an alpha of .79), as well as adequate correlations between the items of each subscale. Between the items with the total test, alphas affected if items are hypothetically eliminated, and high correlations between parts, in addition to a high coefficient of two halves. All of the above allows us to indicate that there is sufficient evidence of the validity and reliability of the scale to be applied in Colombian samples.

Regarding the internal consistency indexes, suitable Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were obtained for all the subscales, as found in the original study, and this analysis was even superior for the factor of “Positive consequences of infidelity”, despite being a coefficient that ranges between .7 and .8. Considering the aforementioned, there is a concordance of the distribution of the items obtained in the present study with the initial theoretical proposal of Romero-Palencia et al. (2007). Similarly, the distribution and the metric results of the IMIN also agree with the data reported in Cartagena (Geney et al., 2018), affirming the validity, reliability, and internal consistency of the instrument. This could suggest the influence that the culture and geographical location of people can have, as they belong to Latin American countries (Fincham & May, 2016; Rada, 2012; Rosenberg, 2018; Wike, 2014).

However, although belonging to a Latin American culture may favor the validity and reliability of the IMIN, the possibility of finding cultural differences between countries should not be overlooked. This is supported by the findings of the survey conducted in 11 Latin countries, in which differences were found with respect to the report and the number of times of unfaithfulness (Redacción El Tiempo, 2010, October 2). Considering the above, it is important to mention two differences found in the grouping of the items in two of the subscales with respect to the IMIN in the Mexican population. One of the differences found was in the Tendencies to infidelity subscale, because the distribution of the items in the factors Desire for emotional infidelity and Desire for sexual infidelity were grouped into the same factor, which was named Desire to be unfaithful.

Those grouping of items could result not only from the aforementioned cultural factor, but also from the relationship that Desire items have to emotional infidelity with the sexual dimension of the human being. In this regard, McIlhaney Jr and Bush (2018) describe that the process of two people who know each other is mediated by different behaviors and emotional expressions that are part of the sexual dimension of a person, such as passionate hugs, caresses, minor or mostly passionate kisses, among others.

Therefore, the desire to caress, kiss, passionately embrace and flirt with a person in addition to the partner (characteristics of the items of the factor Desire for emotional infidelity) turn out to be desires that, although located in the dimension and emotional desire of people, can easily arouse sexual desire with them. This considering that the human being is a unit where each dimension (e.g. emotional and sexual) can affect each other (McIlhaney Jr & Bush, 2018).

Now, the second difference found in the grouping of the items was for the subscale Beliefs to infidelity. In this regard, the corresponding items of the relationship Transgression and Dissatisfaction subscales were grouped into a single factor (named “relationship dissatisfaction”). This grouping could be due to the fact that the items of Transgression of the relationship (lack of respect, disinterest, dishonesty, lack of communication) in the Colombian population can be perceived as dissatisfaction of the relationship, considering, on the one hand, the cultural influence on the perception and interpretation of relationships (Fincham & May, 2016; Rosenberg, 2018); and, on the other hand, the relationship that the items that make up the factor of the Relationship Transgression may have with the conception of dissatisfaction within a relationship, indicating a relationship between both factors. The foregoing is consistent with what was stated by Reynolds and Houlston (2014), who mention that the concept of dissatisfaction within a coupleťs relationship is mediated mainly by negative communication, lacking in respect that leads to conflict. These characteristics are part of the items of the Relationship Transgression factor, for which reason they could be related to the conception of dissatisfaction and support the grouping of items in the same factor in the Colombian population.

5. Conclusions

The factorial structure allows to affirm that there is a valid instrument to measure infidelity in its four dimensions, as well as reliable, due to the high indexes of internal consistency with their respective coefficients, which are indicators that the items have a harmony at a theoretical level that responds to the same construct.

According to the theoretical review carried out, it can be affirmed that there is a current validation of this instrument for Colombia, which guarantees the psychometric properties. The validated instrument turns out to be a useful measurement tool to delve into the descriptive characteristics of the Colombian population with respect to the infidelity variable and, thus, be able to facilitate therapeutic and/or prevention and promotion processes that favor not only the mental and physical health of people, but also relationships and future for Colombian families.

6. Limitations and Future Research

The imbalance between women and men is recognized, as well as non-probabilistic sampling, since the selection of participants was made through a sampling by available subjects, and it is suggested for future research to use a random sampling that guarantees the representativeness of the sample.

Future lines of research should aim not only to evaluate the tendency to infidelity, its motives, beliefs, and perceived consequences in various Colombian samples, but also to deepen these findings in order to carry out processes to prevent infidelity, reduce problems in couple relationships, and promote quality relationships that lead to the construction of solid families that are the basis of a better society. Thus, it is suggested to carry out research that delves into the factors that influence the satisfaction of couple relationships and the quality of their sexual life, considering them as one of the main reasons for unfaithful behavior (Medina et al., 2013; Negash et al., 2014; Rada, 2012; Whisman et al., 2007).

For example, studies such as the one by Busby et al. (2010) found in 2.035 couples that the married couples who had sex only until marriage compared to couples who had premarital sex had significant differences in the quality of sex, sexual relationship, communication, and greater relationship satisfaction. Such study is consistent with that mentioned by Wilcox et al. (2011), regarding that getting sexually involved before marriage at any age can cloud the decision when choosing the right person for a lifetime, because on a biochemical level the bond and the high dopamine that sexuality brings with it can be blinding to honestly see defects and lack of compatibility.

Therefore, it is suggested to go beyond the identification of what people thinks or motivates them regarding infidelity, to inquire into little-studied factors such as the one mentioned above, and thus develop research that delves into all the variables that the IMIN measures to thus promoting a true education in love in human relationships.


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Declaration of data availability: All relevant data are within the article, as well as the information support files.

How to Cite: Riveros Munévar, F., Prieto Patiño, L. E., Marroquón Ortegón, L., Cardona Rodríguez, M., Delgado Zapata, C. & Rodríguez Niño, Y. (2021). Validation of the Multidimensional Inventory of Infidelity (IMIN) in Colombian Population. International Journal of Psychological Research, 14 (1), 33-47.

Appendix A

Supplementary Files

INVENTARIO MULTIDIMENSIONAL DE INFIDELIDAD (Original de Romero-Palencia et al., 2007)

Versión adaptada a Colombia (Riveros, Prieto, Marroquín, Cardona, Delgado y Rodríguez, 2021) 

A continuación, encontrará una serie de afirmaciones que presentan conductas, pensamientos y sentimientos que usted podrá utilizar para describir su relación de pareja. Marque con una X la frecuencia de cada una de ellas. Por favor, marque una sola respuesta por pregunta y no olvide contestar todas las afirmaciones. Recuerde que no hay respuestas “correctas” o “incorrectas”, ni respuestas “buenas” o “malas”. Responda por favor de forma honesta y sincera el cuestionario. DE ANTEMANO GRACIAS POR SU COLABORACIÓN!!!
Siempre (5)
Frecuentemente (4)
Algunas veces (3)
Rara vez (2)
Nunca (1)
1. He coqueteado con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
2. He tenido otra(s) pareja(s) amorosa(s). 1 2 3 4 5
3. Me he relacionado afectivamente con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
4. Me he relacionado sentimentalmente con otra(s) persona(s). 1 2 3 4 5
5. He amado a otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
6. Me he enamorado de otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
7. He pensado en otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
8. Me he interesado en otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
9. He tenido relaciones sexuales con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
10. He tenido contacto sexual con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
11. He deseado besar a otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
12. He deseado tener relaciones sexuales con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
13. He deseado tener contacto sexual con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
14. He deseado tener relaciones extramaritales. 1 2 3 4 5
15. He deseado cumplir mis fantasías sexuales con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
16. Me he sentido atraído(a) por otra(s) persona(s) además. 1 2 3 4 5
17. He traicionado a mi pareja con otra(s) persona(s). 1 2 3 4 5
18. He engañado a mi pareja con otra(s) persona(s). 1 2 3 4 5
19. He tenido sexo con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
20. He deseado tener sexo con otra(s) persona(s) además de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5

YO SERÍA INFIEL POR: Totalmente de acuerdo (5) De acuerdo (4) Ni de acuerdo, ni en desacuerdo (3) En desacuerdo (2) Totalmente en desacuerdo (1)
1. Falta de amor en mi relación de pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
2. Falta de cariño en mi relación de pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
3. Falta de comunicación con mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
4. Venganza. 1 2 3 4 5
5. Falta de atención por parte de mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
6. Falta de interés en mi relación de pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
7. Porque así es mi carácter. 1 2 3 4 5
8. Deshonestidad. 1 2 3 4 5
9. Inestabilidad. 1 2 3 4 5
10. Porque así es mi forma de pensar. 1 2 3 4 5
11. Buscar nuevas aventura. 1 2 3 4 5
12. Buscar placer. 1 2 3 4 5
13. Diversión. 1 2 3 4 5
14. Enojo. 1 2 3 4 5
15. Venganza. 1 2 3 4 5
16. Traición. 1 2 3 4 5
17. Porque cometo errores. 1 2 3 4 5
18. Irresponsabilidad. 1 2 3 4 5
19. Mi falta de carácter. 1 2 3 4 5
20. Falta de autocontrol. 1 2 3 4 5
21. Impulsividad. 1 2 3 4 5
22. Falta de atracción con mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
23. Falta de amor a mí mismo(a). 1 2 3 4 5
24. Cobardía. 1 2 3 4 5
25. Egoísmo. 1 2 3 4 5
26. Infelicidad. 1 2 3 4 5
27. Buscar variedad sexual. 1 2 3 4 5
28. Cumplir mis fantasías. 1 2 3 4 5
29. Problemas económicos. 1 2 3 4 5
30. Distancia física entre mi pareja y yo. 1 2 3 4 5
31. Un distanciamiento con mi pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
A continuación, encontrará una serie de afirmaciones que presentan conductas, pensamientos y sentimientos que usted podrá utilizar para describir la infidelidad. Marque con una X el grado en que cada una de ellas defina la infidelidad. Por favor, marque una sola respuesta por pregunta y no olvide contestar todas las afirmaciones.

1. Amor Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
2. Cariño Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
3. Comprensión Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
4. Comunicación Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
5. Curiosidad Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
6. Deseo Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
7. Gusto Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
8. Pasión Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
9. Sexo Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
10. Baja autoestima Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
11. Celos Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
12. Cobardía Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
13. Confusión Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
14. Decepción Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
15. Deshonestidad Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
16. Desinterés Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
17. Falta de comunicación Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
18. Falta de respeto Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
19. Ignorancia Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
20. Incongruencia Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
21. Indiferencia Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
22. Inestabilidad Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
23. Venganza Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
24. Soledad Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
25. Miedo Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
26. Tristeza Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada
27. Vacío Muchísimo ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- Nada

A continuación, encontrará una serie de afirmaciones. Marque con una X el grado de acuerdo o desacuerdo que tenga con cada una de ellas, teniendo en cuenta la siguiente información. Totalmente de acuerdo (5) De acuerdo (4) Ni de acuerdo, ni en desacuerdo (3) En desacuerdo (2) Totalmente en desacuerdo (1)
1. Una infidelidad puede ayudar a salvar una relación. 1 2 3 4 5
2. La infidelidad ayuda a revalorar a la pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
3. El tener otra pareja ayuda a soportar los problemas del matrimonio. 1 2 3 4 5
4. La infidelidad destruye las relaciones de pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
5. El tener otra pareja desgasta la relación de pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
6. La infidelidad devalúa a la pareja. 1 2 3 4 5
7. La infidelidad estropea a las parejas. 1 2 3 4 5
8. La infidelidad siempre es perjudicial para las parejas. 1 2 3 4 5
9. La infidelidad ayuda a mantener a las parejas. 1 2 3 4 5
10. La infidelidad no siempre es perjudicial para las parejas. 1 2 3 4 5

Received: May 11, 2020; Revised: September 03, 2020; Accepted: October 13, 2021

Corresponding author: Fernando Riveros Munévar. Email:

Conflict of interests:

The authors have declared that there is no conflict of interest.

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