Longitudinal actor, partner, and similarity effects of personality on well-being.
ABSTRACT: The current study aimed to conceptually replicate previous studies on the effects of actor personality, partner personality, and personality similarity on general and relational well-being by using response surface analyses and a longitudinal sample of 4,464 romantic couples. Similar to previous studies using difference scores and profile correlations, results from response surface analyses indicated that personality similarity explained a small amount of variance in well-being as compared with the amount of variance explained by linear actor and partner effects. However, response surface analyses also revealed that second-order terms (i.e., the interaction term and quadratic terms of actor and partner personality) were systematically linked to couples' well-being for all traits except neuroticism. In particular, most response surfaces showed a complex pattern in which the effect of similarity and dissimilarity on well-being depended on the level and combination of actor and partner personality. In addition, one small but robust similarity effect was found, indicating that similarity in agreeableness was related to women's experience of support across the eight years of the study. The discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for theory and research on personality similarity in romantic relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Project description:The current study examined actor, partner, and similarity effects of personality on a variety of well-being indices, including both global and experiential measures of well-being in 2,578 heterosexual couples (N = 5,156 individuals; M age = 51.04, SD = 13.68) who completed the 2016 Wellbeing and Daily Life supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Among actor effects, those for conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism were the most robust predictors of well-being. Among partner effects, conscientiousness and neuroticism were the most robust predictors of well-being. Consistent with past research, similarity effects on well-being were generally small and not always significant. The results are discussed in the context of experiential conceptualizations of well-being and operationalizing similarity in relationship research.
Project description:Leisure activity is one of key ingredients for individual happiness and life satisfaction. Enjoying leisure activity with one's partner can increase marital satisfaction. This study aimed to identify the neural basis of making decisions on participation in a leisure activity with one's romantic partner as well as the relationship between leisure activity and satisfaction with life. Thirty-seven soon-to-be married heterosexual couples were participated in functional MRI while deciding participation in specific leisure activities in the individual, partner, with-friend, and with-partner conditions. We constructed analysis of variance models and investigated couple characteristics such as personality similarity, leisure activity matching rate, and spatial similarity in the bilateral frontoparietal network. The results showed decreased activity in the bilateral hippocampus during the task in the with-partner condition. Individual leisure activity was correlated with quality of life in males, whereas participation in leisure activity might require more cognitive loading on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in females. The leisure activity matching rate was correlated with courtship period, personality similarity, and spatial similarity of the right frontoparietal network during the task. These findings suggest that although there are different activation pattern in making decisions on leisure activity between romantic couples, spatial similarity of the partner's social brain networks may be a marker that predicts how well the couple enjoys leisure activity together. In addition, our couples' data analysis provides a scientific basis for the saying that romantic couples become more similar the longer they are together.
Project description:Previous research has demonstrated that trait self-control is related to a range of positive romantic relationship processes, suggesting that trait self-control should be positively and robustly linked to relationship satisfaction in both partners in a romantic relationship. However, the existing empirical evidence is limited and mixed, especially regarding partner effects (i.e., the effect of one's self-control on the partner's relationship satisfaction). With three datasets of heterosexual couples (S1: <i>N</i> = 195 newlyweds, longitudinal; S2: <i>N</i> = 249 couples who transition into first parenthood, longitudinal; S3: <i>N</i> = 929 couples, cross-sectional), the present pre-registered studies examined: (1) the dyadic associations between trait self-control and relationship satisfaction both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and (2) whether these effects hold when controlling for both partners' relationship commitment. The results indicated a cross-sectional positive actor effect, some support for a positive cross-sectional partner effect, and only little support for a longitudinal actor (but not partner) effect. After controlling for relationship commitment, all effects of trait self-control on satisfaction diminished except for a longitudinal actor effect among women in Study 2. Potential explanations for the current results, and implications for theory and practice, are discussed.
Project description:Using Family and Community Health Study data consisting of 168 unmarried, primarily African American couples, the current study sought to understand the dyadic interplay among school, work, and partner-specific marriage expectations in early adulthood. Drawing on the economic prospects, adult transitions, and work - family literatures, the authors hypothesized and found ample support that expectations to marry a romantic partner were linked not only to one's own school and work-related experiences but also to those of a partner. These associations held while controlling for relationship satisfaction, general views of marriage, and other covariates that have been posited to explain racial inequalities in relationship and marriage patterns. Furthermore, the authors found that actor covariates of marital expectations differed from partner covariates, a finding that highlights the advantages of dyadic analyses in helping researchers understand marriage as both a developmental and interpersonal process.
Project description:Social support plays a vital role in physical and mental well-being. The neuropeptide hormone oxytocin (OXT) has been implicated in modulating pair-bonding and affiliative behaviors, but whether OXT contributes to the analgesic effects of a romantic partner's touch remains elusive. In the present randomized placebo-controlled, between-group, functional magnetic resonance imaging study involving 194 healthy volunteers (97 heterosexual couples), we tested the effects of intranasal OXT (24?IU) on handholding as a common mode of expressing emotional support in romantic couples. We scanned the subjects while brief electric shocks were administered. The subjects assumed that they received social support from either their romantic partner or an unfamiliar person. Unbeknown to the subject, in the partner and stranger support conditions, the same male experimenter always held the subject's left hand. Partner support was most effective in reducing the unpleasantness of electric shocks, and OXT further attenuated the unpleasantness across conditions. On the neural level, OXT significantly augmented the beneficial effects of partner support, as evidenced by a stronger decrease of neural responses to shocks in the anterior insula (AI), a stronger activity increase in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and a strengthened functional coupling between the AI and MFG. Our results support the notion that OXT specifically modulates the beneficial effects of social support in romantic couples by concomitantly reducing pain-associated activity and increasing activity linked to cognitive control and pain inhibition. We hypothesize that impaired OXT signaling may contribute to the experience of a lack of partner support.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Regulating health behavior change often occurs in a dyadic context of romantic relationships. Dyadic approaches to standard health behavior change models are, however, barely considered. We investigated volitional processes of the Health Action Process Approach model for two health behaviors within a dyadic context of romantic couples. Specifically, we tested whether day-to-day volitional self-regulation predicted one's own and one's partner's cigarettes smoked (Study 1) and physical activity (Study 2). METHODS:In two dyadic intensive longitudinal studies (Study 1: 83 dual-smoker couples intending to jointly quit smoking; Study 2: 61 overweight couples intending to become physically active), heterosexual partners independently reported on intention, self-efficacy, action planning, and action control in end-of-day diaries. In Study 1, daily number of cigarettes smoked was assessed via self-report. In Study 2, daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed objectively via accelerometers. In both studies, dyadic cross-lagged intensive longitudinal analyses based on the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model were applied. RESULTS:Across both studies, individual's own volitional self-regulation positively predicted one's own health behavior (less cigarettes smoked and more MVPA). One's partner's action control and intention also positively predicted one's own health behavior. A marginal partner effect for self-efficacy was found in the context of smoking only. CONCLUSIONS:Behavioral self-regulation is not only relevant for individuals themselves, but some volitional processes may spill over to their partners. This highlights the need to specify couple-level processes involved in health behavior change, and to consider a social context of self-regulation.
Project description:To what extent is it possible to use machine learning to predict the outcome of a relationship, based on the personality of both partners? In the present study, relationship satisfaction, conflicts, and separation (intents) of 192 partners four years after the completion of questionnaires concerning their personality traits was predicted. A 10x10-fold cross-validation was used to ensure that the results of the linear regression models are reproducible. The findings indicate that machine learning techniques can improve the prediction of relationship quality (37% of variance explained), and that the perceived relationship quality of a partner is mostly dependent on his or her own individual personality traits. Additionally, the influences of different sets of variables on predictions are shown: partner and similarity effects did not incrementally predict relationship quality beyond actor effects and general personality traits predicted relationship quality less strongly than relationship-related personality.
Project description:Trust between couples is a prerequisite for stable and satisfactory romantic relationships. However, there has been no valid research tool to assess partner-specific trust behavior including costly investments in the trustworthiness of the romantic partner. We here present a comprehensive validation of the newly developed Trust Game for Couples (TGC) by means of various self-report and implicit relationship-related measures. The TGC operationalizes trust by measuring an individual's willingness to invest his or her own financial resources in pro-relationship attitudes of their romantic partner (collected by dichotomous responses to relationship-relevant items, e.g., answering yes to "I am absolutely sure that I love my partner"). Thirty-five healthy couples between 20 and 34 years completed the TGC in an interactive (both partners present), but anonymous setting (no information on the partner's responses revealed). Trust, as measured by the TGC, correlates positively with self-reported trust, satisfaction, and felt closeness in the relationship, but not with general interpersonal trust, confirming both its convergent and discriminant validity. In addition to explicit criteria for construct validity, implicit measures of partner valence and confidence explained variance in the TGC, demonstrating that it constitutes an economical measure of implicit and explicit ingredients of trust between couples. In sum, the TGC provides a novel, specific behavioral tool for a sensitive assessment of trust in dyadic relationships with potential for numerous research fields.
Project description:Intimates form stable impressions of their romantic partner's conflict style, which may influence interactions during conflicts and shape expectancies regarding future disagreements. Despite a large body of work comparing relationship outcomes among heterosexual and same-sex couples, research has yet to examine how the validity of these perceptions vary as a function of gender and sexual orientation. The present study examines perceptual accuracy and bias in perceptions of conflict style among same-sex female (Ndyads=215), same-sex male (Ndyads=113), and heterosexual (Ndyads=93) couples. Although members of same-sex and heterosexual couples exhibited some similarity in accuracy and bias in perceptions, a number of compelling differences suggest that the gender and the sexual orientation of a couple shape perceptions of partner conflict style.
Project description:This paper examines concurrence of self-reported love, trust, and dyadic quality experiences between partners in 293 male couples. Significant yet poor concurrence was observed for all three self-reported relationship measures, but varied by relationship characteristics. Using an actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), actor and partner characteristics were shown to be associated with self-reported relationship concerns, such as satisfaction and intimate partner violence. This knowledge is important in the development and delivery of couples-based health interventions, such as couples HIV testing and counseling, for interventions that respect the unique relationship dynamics of each couple are needed to effectively address dyadic health.