Birds of a Feather Don't Always Fly Farthest: Similarity in Big Five Personality Predicts More Negative Marital Satisfaction Trajectories in Long-Term Marriages

Michelle Shiota, Robert W. Levenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Decades of research suggest that similarity in demographics, values, activities, and attitudes predicts higher marital satisfaction. The present study examined the relationship between similarity in Big Five personality factors and initial levels and 12-year trajectories of marital satisfaction in long-term couples, who were in their 40s and 60s at the beginning of the study. Across the entire sample, greater overall personality similarity predicted more negative slopes in marital satisfaction trajectories. In addition, spousal similarity on Conscientiousness and Extraversion more strongly predicted negative marital satisfaction outcomes among the midlife sample than among the older sample. Results are discussed in terms of the different life tasks faced by young, midlife, and older adults, and the implications of these tasks for the "ingredients" of marital satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-675
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Big Five
  • aging
  • marital satisfaction
  • personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Birds of a Feather Don't Always Fly Farthest: Similarity in Big Five Personality Predicts More Negative Marital Satisfaction Trajectories in Long-Term Marriages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this