Personality Influences On Marital Satisfaction: An Examination Of Actor, Partner, And Interaction Effects
Charania, Mahnaz Rehmatullah
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The current research was designed to examine the associations between married partners' personalities and their marital satisfaction. The major goal of this research was to examine the unique predictive validity of 13 personality traits in an omnibus model in which the effects of all 13 traits were tested simultaneously. The data were analyzed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM), which enabled me to examine the effect of each personality variable (1) as a function of each participant's own trait score (an actor effect), (2) as a function of each participant's partner's trait score (a partner effect), and (3) as a function of the interaction between the actor and partner's trait scores for each of the 13 traits assessed. The results revealed significant actor effects for openness to experience (-), conscientiousness (+), agreeableness (+), anxious attachment (-), social absorption (+), and sociosexuality (-), and significant partner effects for extraversion (-), psychological femininity (+), anxious attachment (-), social absorption (+), and sociosexuality (-). I also observed actor and partner effects for sensation seeking, both of which were qualified by the actor and partner's genders, respectively. I further observed significant effects of partner similarity for avoidant attachment and social individuation and significant partner interactions for anxious attachment and social absorption. The results from the current study confirm the importance of examining actor, partner, and interaction effects of personality on marital satisfaction, as well as the importance of examining relationship-specific variables because of the greater specificity (compared to the Big Five) that they offer in understanding individual cognitions and behaviors within the context of a marriage relationship.