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Similar or related personality traits as a factor in marital happiness Pickford, John Henry

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to test experimentally the relation of homogamy in personality to marital adjustment. It was hypothesized that similar or related personality traits in husband and wife are significantly related to marital happiness, and that dissimilar or unrelated personality traits in husband and wife are significantly related to unhappiness. To test the hypothesis, three groups designated as Happily-married, Having-trouble, and On-the-verge-of-separation, each containing thirty five married couples, were compared in terms of the ten personality variables found in the Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey. Six of the ten personality traits showed statistically significant correlations. Four traits G, R, E and P were positively correlated with marital happiness. Trait E had negatively significant correlations for both the Having-trouble, and the On-the-verge-of-separation groups; trait 0 gave a negatively significant correlation for the Having-trouble group. These two traits were negatively correlated with unhappiness. Correlations for traits A and S approximated the standard of significance used, and the change from the positive correlations for the Happily-married to the negative correlations for the two other married groups, showed a distinct tendency to favour similarity in personality traits as a factor in marital happiness. The trend in the low coefficients for traits T and M for husband-wife similarity relating to happiness, and the trend in the negative low coefficients for traits R, A, S, F, T and P for husband-wife dissimilarity relating to unhappiness, are compatible with the major conclusions of this study. The hypothesis that similar or related personality traits are significantly related to marital happiness, and that dissimilar or unrelated personality traits are significantly related to marital unhappiness, was confirmed in this study in a number of the ten personality traits measured by the Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey.

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