Article

For better or for worse: The moderating effects of personality on the marriage-life satisfaction link

Citation

Boyce CJ, Wood AM & Ferguson E (2016) For better or for worse: The moderating effects of personality on the marriage-life satisfaction link. Personality and Individual Differences, 97, pp. 61-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.005

Abstract
On average, marriage tends to lead to temporary increases in life satisfaction, which quickly return to pre-marital levels. This general pattern, however, does not consider the personality of individuals entering into marriage. We examine whether following marriage pre-marital personality predicts different changes to life satisfaction in a sample of initially single German adults (N=2015), completing life satisfaction measures and indicating their marital status yearly for 8years (during which 468 married). We find that conscientious women experience greater life satisfaction following marriage than less conscientious women. Our data also indicate that introverted women and extraverted men experience longer-term life satisfaction benefits following marriage. Our results refute the claim of limited life satisfaction effects from marriage and caution against relying on average effects when examining the influence of life events on well-being.

Keywords
Marriage; Life satisfaction; Personality; Subjective well-being; Adaptation

Journal
Personality and Individual Differences: Volume 97

StatusPublished
FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/07/2016
Publication date online19/03/2016
Date accepted by journal03/03/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/23306
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0191-8869