A Critical Review of the Literature on the Relationships between Personality Variables, Parenting and Marital Satisfaction


  • Roxana M. Chis West University of Timisoara; Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad




marital satisfaction, parenting, personality, literature review


The aim of the paper is to examine the relevant literature on the relation-ships between personality variables, parenting correlates and marital satisfaction. It should also contribute to reader’s knowledge and under-standing through a critical review of the literature published in recent years. Data source: empirical studies were searched from for in scientific data-bases: Ebsco, ScienceDirect, PsychInfo, and Proquest. The searches generated 4477 articles, of which 28 studies met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Systematic searches of studies published in English in the period 2005–2019 were carried out. The key search terms in English were adapted according to the search options in each database and included variations on the components or dimensions of the topic of interest: marital satisfaction, marital stress, marriage, co-parenting, married couples, marital disharmony, marital quality, marital relationship, personality, and factors involved in marital satisfaction. The studies were selected based on their relevance according to the identification of the search terms in the title, abstract, or in the keywords/ or topic, or, where necessary and possible, in the main text.  The most commonly identified predictors of marital satisfaction and well-being for the couple included neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, parental stress, openness to experience, impulsivity, parenting, immature defence mechanism, communication, emotional stability, and marital support.


Author Biography

Roxana M. Chis, West University of Timisoara; Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad

PhD candidate, West University of Timisoara, 300323 Timisoara, Romania

Assist. Prof., Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, Arad, Romania


Al-Darmaki, F.R., Ahammed, S., Hassane, S.H., Abdullah, A.S., Yaaqeib, S.I., & Dodeen, H. (2017). Antecedents and Consequences of Marital Satisfaction in an Emirati Sample: A Structural Equation Model Analysis. Marriage & Family Review, 53(4), 365–387. https://doi.org/10.1080/01494929.2016.1184211

Allah, Z.H., & Zeynab, B.I. (2014). The Effect of Employment and Family Life on Satisfaction of the Female Teachers (Case Study: the Employed Teachers in Zone One, Karaj). Journal of specialized social science, 10(39), 13–31. https://www.sid.ir/en/journal/ViewPaper.aspx?id=477139

Almeida, D.M., Wethington, E., & Chandler, A.L. (1999). Daily Transmission of Tensions between Marital Dyads and Parent-Child Dyads. Journal of Marriage and Family, 61(1), 49–61. https://doi.org/10.2307/353882

Amiri, M., Farhoodi, F., Abdolvand, N., & Bidakhavidi, A.R. (2011). A study of the relationship between Big-five personality traits and communication styles with marital satisfaction of married students majoring in public universities of Tehran. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 685–689. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.132

Askari, M.B., Mohd Noah, S., Aishah Bt Hassan, S., & Bt Baba, M. (2013). Comparison the Effects of Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills Training on Marital Satisfaction. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 5(1), 91-104. https://doi.org/10.5539/ijps.v5n1p91

Asoodeh, M.H., Khalili, S., Daneshpour, M., & Lavasani, M.G. (2010). Factors of successful marriage: Accounts from self described happy couples. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 5, 2042–2046. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.07.410

Beach, S., Fincham, F., Jordan, T., Mcnair, L., & Stanley, S. (2008). Prayer and Marital Intervention: A Conceptual Framework. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27, 641–669. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2008.27.7.641

Berg, C.A., & Upchurch, R. (2007). A developmental-contextual model of couples coping with chronic illness across the adult life span. Psychological Bulletin, 133(6), 920–954. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.133.6.920

Bodenmann, G. (1995). A systemic-transactional conceptualization of stress and coping in couples. Swiss Journal of Psychology/Schweizerische Zeitschrift Für Psychologie/Revue Suisse de Psychologie, 54, 34–49. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1996-14234-001

Bodenmann, G. (2005). Dyadic Coping and Its Significance for Marital Functioning. In T. A. Revenson, K. Kayser, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: Emerging perspectives on dyadic coping (pp. 33–49). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/11031-002

Bodenmann, G., Randall, A.K., & Falconier, M.K. (2016). Coping in couples: The Systemic Transactional Model (STM). In M.K. Falconier, A.K. Randall, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective (pp. 5–22). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Carrère, S., & Gottman, J.M. (1999). Predicting divorce among newlyweds from the first three minutes of a marital conflict discussion. Family Process, 38(3), 293–301. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.1999.00293.x

Collard, D. (2006). Research on Well-Being: Some Advice from Jeremy Bentham. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 36(3), 330–354. https://doi.org/10.1177/0048393106289795

Cooper, M. L., Pioli, M., Levitt, A., Talley, A. E., Micheas, L., & Collins, N. L. (2006). Attachment Styles, Sex Motives, and Sexual Behavior: Evidence for Gender-Specific Expressions of Attachment Dynamics. In M. Mikulincer & G. S. Goodman (Eds.), Dynamics of romantic love: Attachment, caregiving, and sex (pp. 243–274). The Guilford Press.

Daneshpour, M., Asoodeh, M., Khalili, S., Lavasani, M., & Dadras, I. (2011). Self Described Happy Couples and Factors of Successful Marriage in Iran. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 30, 43–64. https://doi.org/10.1521/jsyt.2011.30.2.43

Dickinson, D., Mccabe, A., Anastasopoulos, L., Peisner-Feinberg, E., & Poe, M. (2003). The Comprehensive Language Approach to Early Literacy: The Interrelationships among Vocabulary, Phonological Sensitivity, and Print Knowledge among Preschool-Aged Children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(3), 465–481. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.95.3.465

Egeci, İ., & Gencoz, T. (2006). Factors Associated with Relationship Satisfaction: Importance of Communication Skills. Contemporary Family Therapy, 28, 383–391. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-006-9010-2

Falconier, M. K., Randall, A. K., & Bodenmann, G. (Eds.). (2016). Couples coping with stress: A cross-cultural perspective. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Falconier, M., Jackson, J., Hilpert, P., & Bodenmann, G. (2015). Dyadic Coping and Relationship Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 42, 28–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2015.07.002

Gerstein, E. D., Crnic, K. A., Blacher, J., & Baker, B. L. (2009). Resilience and the course of daily parenting stress in families of young children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(12), 981–997. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01220.x

Gottman, J.M., Katz, L.F., & Hooven, C. (1996). Parental meta-emotion philosophy and the emotional life of families: Theoretical models and preliminary data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10(3), 243–268. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.10.3.243

Hall, J.H., & Fincham, F.D. (2005). Self–Forgiveness: The Stepchild of Forgiveness Research. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24(5), 621–637. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2005.24.5.621

Hatfield, E., Traupmann, J., Sprecher, S., Utne, M., & Hay, J. (1985). Equity and Intimate Relations: Recent Research. In W. Ickes (Ed.), Compatible and Incompatible Relationships (pp. 91–117). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-5044-9_5

Huidu, A. (2019). Parsson and Săvulescu’s ”Unfit for the Future” or the Starting Point for the Deconstruction of the Concept of Parentality. Postmodern Openings, 10(1), 200-219. https://doi.org/10.18662/po/63.

Jacobs, J., & Kelley, M. (2006). Predictors of Paternal Involvement in Childcare in Dual-Earner Families with Young Children. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice About Men As Fathers, 4, 23–47. https://doi.org/10.3149/fth.0401.23

Jose, O.A., & Alfons, V. (2007). Religiosity and forgiveness among first-married and remarried adults. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 10(4), 379–394. https://doi.org/10.1080/13674670600785545

Kaczynski, K.J., Lindahl, K.M., Malik, N.M., & Laurenceau, J.-P. (2006). Marital conflict, maternal and paternal parenting, and child adjustment: A test of mediation and moderation. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(2), 199–208. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.20.2.199

Kallampally, G.A., Oakes, K.E., Lyons, H.Z., Greer, J.M., & Gillespie, C.K. (2017). Gender, Psychological Resilience, Acculturation and Spirituality as Predictors of Asian Indian American Marital Satisfaction. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 10(1), 35–52. https://doi.org/10.1300/J515v10n01_04

Karampatsos, G., Terzis, G., & Georgiadis, G. (2011). Muscular strength, neuromuscular activation and performance in discus throwers. Physical Education and Sport, 11, 369–375.

Khazan, I., McHale, J.P., & Decourcey, W. (2008). Violated wishes about division of childcare labor predict early coparenting process during stressful and nonstressful family evaluations. Infant Mental Health Journal, 29(4), 343–361. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.20183

Kolak, A. M., & Volling, B. L. (2007). Parental Expressiveness as a Moderator of Coparenting and Marital Relationship Quality. Family Relations, 56(5), 467–478. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2007.00474.x

Litzinger, S., & Gordon, K. C. (2005). Exploring Relationships Among Communication, Sexual Satisfaction, and Marital Satisfaction. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 31(5), 409–424. https://doi.org/10.1080/00926230591006719

Margolin, G., Gordis, E., & John, R. (2001). Coparenting: A link between marital conflict and parenting in two-parent families. Journal of Family Psychology, 15(1), 3–21. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.15.1.3

Markus, H., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224–253. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224

Meline, T. (2006). Selecting Studies for Systemic Review: Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 33, 21–27. https://doi.org/10.1044/cicsd_33_S_21

Merrifield, K.A., & Gamble, W.C. (2013). Associations Among Marital Qualities, Supportive and Undermining Coparenting, and Parenting Self-Efficacy: Testing Spillover and Stress-Buffering Processes. Journal of Family Issues, 34(4), 510–533. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X12445561

Morrill, M., Hines, D., Mahmood, S., & Córdova, J. (2010). Pathways Between Marriage and Parenting for Wives and Husbands: The Role of Coparenting. Family Process, 49, 59–73. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01308.x

Najarpourian, S. (2012). Personality Types and Marital Satisfaction. Interdisciplinary journal of contemporary research in business, 4(5), 372-383. https://journal-archieves23.webs.com/372-383.pdf

Najarpourian, S., Samavi, A., & Sina, F. (2018). The Prediction of Marital Satisfaction Through Attachment Styles and Love Story. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 12(4), e62774. https://doi.org/10.5812/ijpbs.62774

Pandey, R., & Anand, T. (2010). Emotional Intelligence and its Relationship with Marital Adjustment and Health of Spouse. Indian Journal of Social Science Researches, 7(2), 38-46.

Pedro, M.F., Ribeiro, T., & Shelton, K.H. (2012). Marital satisfaction and partners’ parenting practices: The mediating role of coparenting behavior. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(4), 509–522. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029121

Revenson, T.A. (2003). Scenes from a Marriage: Examining Support, Coping, and Gender Within the Context of Chronic Illness. In J. Suls and K.A. Wallston (eds), Social Psychological Foundations of Health and Illness. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470753552.ch19

Roberts, B., Walton, K., & Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Personality traits change in adulthood: Reply to Costa and McCrae. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 29–32. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.132.1.29

Rosowsky, E., King, K.D., Coolidge, F.L., Rhoades, C.S., & Segal, D.L. (2012). Marital Satisfaction and Personality Traits in Long-Term Marriages: An Exploratory Study. Clinical Gerontologist, 35(2), 77–87. https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2011.639855

Roth, J.L., & Brooks-gunn, J. (2003). Youth development programs: Risk, prevention and policy. Journal of Adolescent Health, 32(3), 170–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1054-139X(02)00421-4

Saginak, K., & Saginak, M. (2005). Balancing Work and Family: Equity, Gender, and Marital Satisfaction. The Family Journal, 13, 162–166. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480704273230

Sandu, A. (coord.) (2003). Social Action Through Educational Strategies. Lumen.

Schoppe-Sullivan, S., Brown, G., Cannon, E., Mangelsdorf, S., & Sokolowski, M. (2008). Maternal Gatekeeping, Coparenting Quality, and Fathering Behavior in Families with Infants. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 389–398. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.22.3.389

Schoppe-Sullivan, S., Mangelsdorf, S., Frosch, C., & McHale, J. (2004). Associations Between Coparenting and Marital Behavior From Infancy to the Preschool Years. Journal of Family Psychology, 18, 194–207. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.18.1.194

Shackelford, T. K., Besser, A., & Goetz, A. T. (2008). Personality, martial satisfaction, and probability of marital infidelity. Individual Differences Research, 6(1), 13–25.

Shackelford, T., & Buss, D. (1997). Cues to Infidelity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1034–1045. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672972310004

Shumow, L., & Lomax, R. (2002). Parental Efficacy: Predictor of Parenting Behavior and Adolescent Outcomes. Parenting-Science and Practice, 2, 127–150. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327922PAR0202_03

Stack, S., & Eshleman, J. R. (1998). Marital Status and Happiness: A 17-Nation Study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 60(2), 527–536. https://doi.org/10.2307/353867

Stroud, C., Durbin, C., Saigal, S., & Knobloch-Fedders, L. (2010). Normal and Abnormal Personality Traits are Associated with Marital Satisfaction for both Men and Women: An Actor–Partner Interdependence Model Analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(4), 466-477. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2010.05.011

Ward, P.J., Lundberg, N.R., Zabriskie, R.B., & Berrett, K. (2009). Measuring marital satisfaction: A comparison of the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Satisfaction with Married Life Scale. Marriage & Family Review, 45(4), 412–429. https://doi.org/10.1080/01494920902828219

Warr, P. (1990). The Measurement of Well-Being and Other Aspects of Mental Health. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63, 193–210. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8325.1990.tb00521.x




How to Cite

Chis, R. M. . (2022). A Critical Review of the Literature on the Relationships between Personality Variables, Parenting and Marital Satisfaction. Postmodern Openings, 13(1), 17-46. https://doi.org/10.18662/po/13.1/383



Research Articles

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now