Marital Satisfaction and Personality Traits in Long-Term Marriages: An Exploratory Study

  • Rosowsky E
  • King K
  • Coolidge F
 et al. 
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Abstract

This study explored personality dimensions that contribute to marital satisfaction in older couples in long-term marriages (M = 49.2 years). Each spouse completed the Comprehensive Marital Satisfaction Scale, the Horney-Coolidge Tridimensional Inventory (HCTI), and the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). There was a moderate correlation between the marital satisfaction scores for husbands and wives. Husbands' marital satisfaction was significantly higher when their self-reported HCTI Detachment scores were lower and their HCTI Aggression scores were higher. Wives' marital satisfaction was higher when their Detachment scores and their husbands' Detachment scores were lower. On the NEO-FFI, only wives' marital satisfaction was significantly related to the more Extraverted and the less Conscientious the husbands reported themselves to be. Clinical implications and research directions are discussed.
This study explored personality dimensions that contribute to marital satisfaction in older couples in long-term marriages (M = 49.2 years). Each spouse completed the Comprehensive Marital Satisfaction Scale, the Horney-Coolidge Tridimensional Inventory (HCTI), and the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). There was a moderate correlation between the marital satisfaction scores for husbands and wives. Husbands' marital satisfaction was significantly higher when their self-reported HCTI Detachment scores were lower and their HCTI Aggression scores were higher. Wives' marital satisfaction was higher when their Detachment scores and their husbands' Detachment scores were lower. On the NEO-FFI, only wives' marital satisfaction was significantly related to the more Extraverted and the less Conscientious the husbands reported themselves to be. Clinical implications and research directions are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Comprehensive Marital Satisfaction Scale
  • Horney-Coolidge Tridimensional Inventory
  • NEO-FFI
  • long-term marriage
  • marital satisfaction
  • marriage
  • older couples
  • personality

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Authors

  • Erlene Rosowsky

  • Katherine D. King

  • Frederick L. Coolidge

  • Camille S. Rhoades

  • Daniel L. Segal

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