Two personalities, one relationship: both partners' personality traits shape the quality of their relationship.
This research tested 6 models of the independent and interactive effects of stable personality traits on each partner's reports of relationship satisfaction and quality. Both members of 360 couples (N = 720) completed the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire and were interviewed about their relationship. Findings show that a woman's relationship happiness is predicted by her partner's low Negative Emotionality, high Positive Emotionality, and high Constraint, whereas a man's relationship happiness is predicted only by his partner's low Negative Emotionality. Findings also show evidence of additive but not interactive effects: Each partner's personality contributed independently to relationship outcomes but not in a synergistic way. These results are discussed in relation to models that seek to integrate research on individual differences in personality traits with research on interpersonal processes in intimate relationships.
Robins, RW; Caspi, A; Moffitt, TE
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