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Marriage Matters: Spousal Similarity in Life Satisfaction

  • Ulrich Schimmack
  • Richard Lucas
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    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.duncker-humblot.de

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