Personality Changes in Couples - Partnership Longevity and Personality Congruence in Couples

17 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2013

See all articles by Beatrice Rammstedt

Beatrice Rammstedt

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Frank M. Spinath

German University of Applied Sciences, Saarbrücken

David Richter

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel

Jürgen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität; The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: September 19, 2013

Abstract

Evidence of assortative mating according to personality was reported in a previous SOEP-based study (Rammstedt & Schupp, 2008). Based on population representative data of almost 7,000 couples, high levels of congruence between spouses were found, which increased with marriage duration. Almost 5,000 of these couples were tracked over a five-year period with personality assessed at the beginning and end of this time, which allowed us to investigate the relationship between personality congruence and marriage duration longitudinally. Using this data, we investigated (a) whether personality congruence is predictive for partnership longevity and whether congruence therefore differs between subsequently stable and instable couples, (b) if stable couples become more congruent, and (c) if separated couples become less congruent with regard to their personality over time. The results provide initial evidence of personality congruence as a predictor for partnership longevity: the more congruent couples are in the personality domain of Openness, the more stable their partnership. In addition, we found no indications of an increase in personality congruence over time within the stable couples; within the separated couples, however, a strong decrease in congruence was detectable.

Keywords: assortative mating, Big Five, personality, congruence, personality change, partnership

Suggested Citation

Rammstedt, Beatrice and Spinath, Frank M. and Richter, David and Schupp, Juergen, Personality Changes in Couples - Partnership Longevity and Personality Congruence in Couples (September 19, 2013). SOEPpaper No. 585. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2328144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2328144

Beatrice Rammstedt (Contact Author)

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Unter Sachsenhausen 6-8, 50667 Köln
Mannheim, 68159
Germany

Frank M. Spinath

German University of Applied Sciences, Saarbrücken ( email )

66117 Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken
Germany

David Richter

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel ( email )

DIW Berlin
Mohrenstr. 58
Berlin, Berlin 10117
Germany
+493089789413 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/cv/en/drichter

Juergen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, D-10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9238 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/deutsch/das_institut/mitarbeiter/innen/26652.html?uid=jschupp

Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität ( email )

Garystr. 55
I
Berlin, D-14195
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/soziologie/mitarbeiter/b_hochschullehrer/schupp.html

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=de&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/de/webcontent/personnel/fellows

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