Family type, duration of marriage, and personality traits in relation to marital satisfaction
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CitationBulgan G., Kemer, G., & Çetinkaya Yıldız, E. (2015). Family type, duration of marriage, and personality traits in relation to marital satisfaction. International Association for Counseling Conference, September 3-6, Verona, Italy.
The aim of the present study was to examine how marriage type, duration of marriage, and personality characteristics play a role in predicting married Turkish individuals’ marital satisfaction levels. The hypotheses are as follows: 1. Marriage type will significantly predict individuals’ marital satisfaction levels. More specifically, individuals from self-choice marriages will have significantly higher marital satisfaction levels than those from family-arranged marriages. 2. Duration of marriage will significantly predict individuals’ marital satisfaction levels. 3. Personality traits will significantly predict individuals’ marital satisfaction levels. While extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness will be significantly and positively related to marital satisfaction, neuroticism will be significantly but negatively related. Participants were 288 (147 female and 141 male) married Turkish individuals living in urban cities in Turkey. In reaching the participants, convenience sampling method was utilized through word-of-mouth advertising. Participants’ demographic information was collected through a form that included questions regarding gender, age, education, number of children, duration of marriage, and marriage type (family-arranged vs. self-choice). In addition, the Big Five Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999) was utilized to assess participants’ personality traits and the Marital Satisfaction Scale (Tezer, 1996) was used to assess the overall satisfaction of married individuals. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed significant results for the linear combination of marriage type and duration of marriage as well as personality traits in explaining individuals’ marital satisfaction levels. More specifically, duration of marriage, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism were found to have individual significant contributions to Turkish individuals’ marital satisfaction levels.The current study relied on self-report measures, which comes with the risk that all reported data is based on participants’ perceptions. Not controlling social desirability, we acknowledge that participants’ reports may have involved under- or over-report of personality characteristics as well as marital satisfaction. Additionally, this study recruited a voluntary sample of participants from urban cities of Turkey. Results of this study have implications for mental health professionals working in the field of marriage and family counselling. In the multicultural world we live in, different cultures have different dynamics involved in marriage. Based on our findings, counsellors could take into consideration the clients’ intrapersonal factors especially their level of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism in dealing with marital issues. In addition, our findings indicated a significant positive relationship between marital satisfaction and duration of marriage. Therefore, paying attention to the factors that have positively contributed to and brought the couple emotionally closer throughout their marriage while learning how the couple had dealt with the stressors in their earlier years of marriage could be helpful.