Ideal Mate Personality Concepts and Marital Satisfaction: Congruence Between Ideal and Real Mate

Debra G. Leggett, Angela Beachkofsky, Joanna L Leggett


In an extension of Zentner’s (2005) research on Ideal Mate Personality Concept, the researchers explored the relationship between marital satisfaction and the congruence between the individual’s ideal mate and real mate (on characteristics of Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness).  Step-wise multiple regression was used to measure the strength of the relationship between the predictor variables (congruence, similar personalities, age at marriage, and length of marriage) and marital satisfaction.  Participants completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Sabourin, Valois, & Lussier, 2005), the International Personality Item Pool Scales of Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness (Goldberg, 1999), and a demographic measure.  Findings from the 108 married respondents indicated a statistically significant relationship between marital satisfaction and congruence between the individual’s perception of ideal and real mate personality characteristics, particularly in Agreeableness. Similarity of personality was significantly related to marital satisfaction, although the effect size was small.  These finding support the conclusions drawn by Zentner, yet Agreeableness was the only personality characteristic that significantly contributed to the model.


Marital Satisfaction, Ideal Mate Personality Concept, Agreeableness, Ideal Mate, Real Mate

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