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Marriage Matters: Spousal Similarity in Life Satisfaction

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  • Ulrich Schimmack
  • Richard Lucas
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    Abstract

    Spousal similarity in life satisfaction is important for causal theories of life satisfaction. This study examined the concurrent and cross-lagged spousal similarity in life satisfaction over a 21-year period based on 847 married couples in the German Socio-Economic Panel. Concurrent spousal similarity (e.g., husband 1990 & wife 1990) was considerably higher than one-year lagged similarity (e.g., husband 1990 & wife 1991). This finding reveals spousal similarity in the variable component of life satisfaction that fluctuates from year to year. In addition, cross-lagged spousal similarity systematically decreased with length of the time lag. This finding reveals spousal similarity in the changing component of life satisfaction. Finally, there was considerable cross-lagged spousal similarity over the longest time lag (e.g., husband 1984 & wife 2004). This finding reveals spousal similarity in the stable component of life satisfaction. The evidence for a changing component in spousal similarity in life satisfaction provides conclusive evidence that changes in one spouse's life satisfaction are systematically related to changes in the other spouse's life satisfaction.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Duncker & Humblot, Berlin in its journal Schmollers Jahrbuch.

    Volume (Year): 127 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 105-111

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    Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v127_y2007_i1_q1_p105-111

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    Web page: http://www.duncker-humblot.de

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    Web: http://www.duncker-humblot.de/index.php/zeitschriften/wirtschafts-undsozialwissenschaften/schmollersjahrbuch-1.html

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    Cited by:
    1. Ulrich Schimmack & Richard Lucas, 2010. "Environmental Influences on Well-Being: A Dyadic Latent Panel Analysis of Spousal Similarity," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 1-21, August.
    2. Cahit Guven & Claudia Senik & Holger Stichnoth, 2011. "You can't be happier than your wife. Happiness Gaps and Divorce," PSE Working Papers halshs-00555427, HAL.
    3. Ulrich Schimmack & Peter Krause & Gert Wagner & Jürgen Schupp, 2010. "Stability and Change of Well Being: An Experimentally Enhanced Latent State-Trait-Error Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 19-31, January.
    4. Gail Pacheco & Thomas Lange, 2010. "Political participation and life satisfaction: a cross-European analysis," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 686-702, September.
    5. Ulrich Schimmack & Jürgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2008. "The Influence of Environment and Personality on the Affective and Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 41-60, October.

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