Partner dissimilarity in life satisfaction

Stability and change, correlates, and outcomes

Hannah M. Schade, Gizem Hülür, Frank Infurna, Christiane A. Hoppmann, Denis Gerstorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dissimilarities between partners in prominent domains of functioning are often thought to be a risk factor for compromised relationship quality and relationship dissolution. However, the nature, correlates, and consequences of developmental trajectories of within-couple dissimilarities in key quality-of-life indicators such as life satisfaction are not well understood. In the current study, we applied multilevel growth models to up to 31-wave annual longitudinal data from 13,714 romantic partners in the German Socio-Economic Panel (age at baseline: M = 43 years, SD = 15, range 17-92 years). Partner dissimilarity was calculated at the within-couple level and indicated considerable differences in life satisfaction between partners within a given couple (0.64 SD or 1.14 units on an 11-point scale). Over time, partner dissimilarity slightly increased among partners who remained together. Examining individual and relationship correlates indicated that dissimilarity was greatest for couples who were older, had children, or had a shorter relationship history. Also, dissimilarity was greater when individual life satisfaction or satisfaction with family life was low, particularly among wives, as well as among couples who later separated. Examining consequences, larger levels of and increases in partner dissimilarity were independently predictive of lower satisfaction with family life at the end of the study, over and above individual life satisfaction of either partner as well as key individual and relationship correlates. Our discussion focuses on the advantages of investigating (developmental trajectories of) within-couple dissimilarity and its implications for individual and partner development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology and Aging
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Fingerprint

Spouses
History
Economics
Quality of Life
Growth

Keywords

  • Growth modeling
  • Life satisfaction
  • Partner similarity
  • Relationship stability
  • SOEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Partner dissimilarity in life satisfaction : Stability and change, correlates, and outcomes. / Schade, Hannah M.; Hülür, Gizem; Infurna, Frank; Hoppmann, Christiane A.; Gerstorf, Denis.

In: Psychology and Aging, Vol. 31, No. 4, 01.06.2016, p. 327-339.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schade, Hannah M. ; Hülür, Gizem ; Infurna, Frank ; Hoppmann, Christiane A. ; Gerstorf, Denis. / Partner dissimilarity in life satisfaction : Stability and change, correlates, and outcomes. In: Psychology and Aging. 2016 ; Vol. 31, No. 4. pp. 327-339.
@article{c62f3e55a4a84bbfae4283f097af0611,
title = "Partner dissimilarity in life satisfaction: Stability and change, correlates, and outcomes",
abstract = "Dissimilarities between partners in prominent domains of functioning are often thought to be a risk factor for compromised relationship quality and relationship dissolution. However, the nature, correlates, and consequences of developmental trajectories of within-couple dissimilarities in key quality-of-life indicators such as life satisfaction are not well understood. In the current study, we applied multilevel growth models to up to 31-wave annual longitudinal data from 13,714 romantic partners in the German Socio-Economic Panel (age at baseline: M = 43 years, SD = 15, range 17-92 years). Partner dissimilarity was calculated at the within-couple level and indicated considerable differences in life satisfaction between partners within a given couple (0.64 SD or 1.14 units on an 11-point scale). Over time, partner dissimilarity slightly increased among partners who remained together. Examining individual and relationship correlates indicated that dissimilarity was greatest for couples who were older, had children, or had a shorter relationship history. Also, dissimilarity was greater when individual life satisfaction or satisfaction with family life was low, particularly among wives, as well as among couples who later separated. Examining consequences, larger levels of and increases in partner dissimilarity were independently predictive of lower satisfaction with family life at the end of the study, over and above individual life satisfaction of either partner as well as key individual and relationship correlates. Our discussion focuses on the advantages of investigating (developmental trajectories of) within-couple dissimilarity and its implications for individual and partner development.",
keywords = "Growth modeling, Life satisfaction, Partner similarity, Relationship stability, SOEP",
author = "Schade, {Hannah M.} and Gizem H{\"u}l{\"u}r and Frank Infurna and Hoppmann, {Christiane A.} and Denis Gerstorf",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/pag0000096",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "327--339",
journal = "Psychology and Aging",
issn = "0882-7974",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Partner dissimilarity in life satisfaction

T2 - Stability and change, correlates, and outcomes

AU - Schade, Hannah M.

AU - Hülür, Gizem

AU - Infurna, Frank

AU - Hoppmann, Christiane A.

AU - Gerstorf, Denis

PY - 2016/6/1

Y1 - 2016/6/1

N2 - Dissimilarities between partners in prominent domains of functioning are often thought to be a risk factor for compromised relationship quality and relationship dissolution. However, the nature, correlates, and consequences of developmental trajectories of within-couple dissimilarities in key quality-of-life indicators such as life satisfaction are not well understood. In the current study, we applied multilevel growth models to up to 31-wave annual longitudinal data from 13,714 romantic partners in the German Socio-Economic Panel (age at baseline: M = 43 years, SD = 15, range 17-92 years). Partner dissimilarity was calculated at the within-couple level and indicated considerable differences in life satisfaction between partners within a given couple (0.64 SD or 1.14 units on an 11-point scale). Over time, partner dissimilarity slightly increased among partners who remained together. Examining individual and relationship correlates indicated that dissimilarity was greatest for couples who were older, had children, or had a shorter relationship history. Also, dissimilarity was greater when individual life satisfaction or satisfaction with family life was low, particularly among wives, as well as among couples who later separated. Examining consequences, larger levels of and increases in partner dissimilarity were independently predictive of lower satisfaction with family life at the end of the study, over and above individual life satisfaction of either partner as well as key individual and relationship correlates. Our discussion focuses on the advantages of investigating (developmental trajectories of) within-couple dissimilarity and its implications for individual and partner development.

AB - Dissimilarities between partners in prominent domains of functioning are often thought to be a risk factor for compromised relationship quality and relationship dissolution. However, the nature, correlates, and consequences of developmental trajectories of within-couple dissimilarities in key quality-of-life indicators such as life satisfaction are not well understood. In the current study, we applied multilevel growth models to up to 31-wave annual longitudinal data from 13,714 romantic partners in the German Socio-Economic Panel (age at baseline: M = 43 years, SD = 15, range 17-92 years). Partner dissimilarity was calculated at the within-couple level and indicated considerable differences in life satisfaction between partners within a given couple (0.64 SD or 1.14 units on an 11-point scale). Over time, partner dissimilarity slightly increased among partners who remained together. Examining individual and relationship correlates indicated that dissimilarity was greatest for couples who were older, had children, or had a shorter relationship history. Also, dissimilarity was greater when individual life satisfaction or satisfaction with family life was low, particularly among wives, as well as among couples who later separated. Examining consequences, larger levels of and increases in partner dissimilarity were independently predictive of lower satisfaction with family life at the end of the study, over and above individual life satisfaction of either partner as well as key individual and relationship correlates. Our discussion focuses on the advantages of investigating (developmental trajectories of) within-couple dissimilarity and its implications for individual and partner development.

KW - Growth modeling

KW - Life satisfaction

KW - Partner similarity

KW - Relationship stability

KW - SOEP

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84973524655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84973524655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/pag0000096

DO - 10.1037/pag0000096

M3 - Article

VL - 31

SP - 327

EP - 339

JO - Psychology and Aging

JF - Psychology and Aging

SN - 0882-7974

IS - 4

ER -