Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Thomas Oltmanns


Previous research has shown that personality disorder symptoms are significantly higher in divorced and never-married individuals compared to married individuals. Although personality pathology is elevated in these two groups, specific trait differences between the two are still unclear. In a large representative community sample: N = 1473) of older adults between the ages of 55-64, a multivariate analysis of variance was conducted on the 30 facets of the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised using data from divorced, never-married, and married participants. Significant differences between marital groups were found in 15 facets: four Neuroticism, five Extraversion, two Openness, two Agreeableness, and two Conscientiousness). Personality is strongly associated with marital status, which is in turn related to many important outcomes in the fields of health, mortality, and life satisfaction. Findings from these analyses contribute to the continued exploration of the important differences between marital groups, along with the examination of how personality and marital status work together to assist in shaping an individual’s trajectory of wellbeing and interpersonal success in later life.


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