Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Self-reported dissatisfaction in romantic relationships is a well-documented risk factor for impaired physical health outcomes. Most research has focused on identifying the mechanisms that could potentially explain this link, but it is just as important to explore what type of person is more vulnerable to the quality of romantic relationships. Relationship satisfaction may be more consequential in the context of some personality traits than others. We examined whether each of the five factor traits interacts with self-reported relationship satisfaction to predict three health outcomes over 18 months: major physical health events, health perceptions, and health behaviors. The hypotheses for this report were tested using data from an ongoing longitudinal study designed to explore the trajectory of personality pathology and related correlates, in a community sample of adults transitioning into later life. Results suggest that when participants were dissatisfied in their relationships, they were more likely to develop a new illness and/or rate their health as dysfunctional if they had high levels of neuroticism. Additionally, as relationship satisfaction increased, higher levels of conscientiousness strengthened the link with perceived physical wellness.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Thomas F. Oltmanns

Committee Members

Tammy English, Joshua Jackson, Desiree White, Judith M. Smith


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/doi:10.7936/K7QR4VHX