Personality and Compatibility: A Prospective Analysis of Marital Stability and Marital Satisfaction

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 02/1987; 52(1):27-40. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.52.1.27
Source: PubMed


The antecedents of marital stability (divorce or remaining married) and marital satisfaction (within the group that remains married) were investigated with a panel of 300 couples who were followed from their engagements in the 1930s until 1980. Twenty-two of the couples broke their engagements; of the 278 couples who married, 50 got divorced at some time between 1935 and 1980. Personality characteristics (measured by acquaintance ratings made in the 1930s) were important predictors of both marital stability and marital satisfaction. The three aspects of personality most strongly related to marital outcome were the neuroticism of the husband, the neuroticism of the wife, and the impulse control of the husband. In combination, the 17 major antecedent variables were moderately predictive of a criterion variable composed of both marital stability and marital satisfaction (R = .49). The three major aspects of personality accounted for more than half of the predictable variance. The remaining variance was accounted for by attitudinal, social-environment, and sexual history variables.

1 Follower
81 Reads
  • Source
    • "For example, Betzig (1989) compared 160 cultures and found that infidelity was the single most cited cause of divorce. In Western countries, it has been estimated that between 25and50%of divorcees cited a spouse's infidelity as the primary cause of the divorce (Kelly & Conley,1987). Among various threats that can jeopardize the spousal relationship, the most important one is infidelity. "

  • Source
    • "High on this list of possible theoretical mechanisms are individual differences in personality and cognitive/behavioral proclivities. Individuals who are successfully mate poached possess a variety of traits (e.g., disagreeableness, narcissism, avoidant attachment, unrestricted sociosexual orientation ; Foster et al., 2002; Jonason et al., 2010; Schachner & Shaver, 2002; Schmitt, 2005; Schmitt & Buss, 2001) that are also predictive of relationship dysfunction (Botwin, Buss, & Shackelford, 1997; Foster, Shrira, & Campbell, 2006; Jonason, Li, Webster, & Schmitt, 2009; Kelly & Conley, 1987; Kurdek, 1993; Watson, Hubbard, & Wiese, 2000). It is possible that one or more of the traits that make individuals susceptible to being poached also make them prone to thinking and behaving in ways that cause dysfunction within their relationships. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is well documented that many relationships form via mate poaching (i.e., stealing someone’s partner), but almost nothing is known about how these relationships function. Across three studies, we observed reliable evidence that individuals who were poached by their current romantic partners were less committed, less satisfied, and less invested in their relationships. They also paid more attention to romantic alternatives, perceived their alternatives to be of higher quality, and engaged in higher rates of infidelity compared to non-poached participants. Two longitudinal studies offered conflicting evidence regarding whether relationship dysfunction associated with mate poaching develops over time or is a stable quality. Evidence from a cross-sectional study suggests that individual differences in sociosexual-orientation help to explain link between mate poaching and relationship dysfunction. (word count: 120 words)
    Journal of Research in Personality 10/2014; 52. DOI:10.1016/j.jrp.2014.07.008 · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Men's Agreeableness is positively associated with their romantic partner's relationship satisfaction (Donellan, Conger, & Bryant, 2004; Lenhart & Neyer, 2006; Malouff, Thorsteinsson, Schutte, Bhullar, & Rooke, 2010). Men high in Agreeableness more often maintain stable, harmonious relationships (Bentler & Newcomb, 1978; Buss, 1991; Karney & Bradbury, 1995; Kelly & Conley, 1987; Kwan, Bond, & Singelis, 1997). Women's sexual satisfaction and marital satisfaction is positively related to their partner's Agreeableness (Botwin, Buss, & Shackelford, 1997). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Men perform oral sex on their romantic partner as part of a broader benefit-provisioning mate retention strategy and men higher in Agreeableness are especially likely to provision their partner with benefits. The current research explored whether men's benefit-provisioning mate retention behavior mediated the relationship between their Agreeableness and their oral sex behaviors in their long-term romantic relationship. Men (n = 346) in a committed, sexual, heterosexual relationship completed the Mate Retention Inventory-a 104-item instrument that assesses the frequency with which they performed various mate retention behaviors during the past month, a 40-item personality inventory, and reported on a questionnaire their interest in and the time they spent performing oral sex on their romantic partner during their most recent sexual encounter with her. The results indicated that men higher in Agreeableness reported greater interest in and spent more time performing oral sex on their partner, and that their benefit-provisioning mate retention behaviors partially mediated these relationships. The current research is the first to investigate the relationship between personality dimensions and oral sex behaviors and adds to a growing body of research documenting that mate retention strategies influence sexual behavior.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 09/2014; 44(6). DOI:10.1007/s10508-014-0371-6 · 3.53 Impact Factor
Show more


81 Reads
Available from