Similarity, convergence, and relationship satisfaction in dating and married couples

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Jul;93(1):34-48. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.93.1.34.

Abstract

The current work investigates how personality and interpersonal processes combine to predict change in relationship quality. Measures of personality and emotion similarity were collected during laboratory interactions from a cross-sectional sample of dating couples (Study 1) and a 1-year longitudinal study of newlywed married couples (Study 2). Results showed that emotion similarity mediated the association between personality similarity and relationship quality (Studies 1 and 2) and that emotion convergence mediated the association between personality convergence and relationship satisfaction (Study 2). These results indicate that similarity and convergence in personality may benefit relationships by promoting similarity and convergence in partners' shared emotional experiences. Findings also lend support to models that integrate partners' enduring traits and couples' adaptive processes as antecedents of relationship outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Courtship / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Marriage*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality
  • Statistics as Topic