The Effect of Personality (Similarity) on Divorce.

Dimitri Mortelmans, University of Antwerp
Sascha Spikic, University of Antwerp

Though personality plays a large role in guiding our behavior, it has often been overlooked as a predictor of divorce. By making use of 14 year long HILDA data (N= 3,000), we examine how the Big Five personality traits affect the divorce risk. Event history models show both individual and dyadic effects. Neuroticism, extraversion and openness increase the risk, while conscientiousness lowers it. When examining the role of personality similarity between husband and wife, we find confirmation of the spousal discrepancy theory for neuroticism, but not for openness. These results indicate that relationship satisfaction alone can not explain how personality affects divorce, additional pathways play a role.

Presented in Session 106: Mental Health