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Journal Article

Can personality explain the educational gradient in divorce? Evidence from a nationally representative panel survey

Authors

Publication date

Jul 2017

Summary

The social demographic literature on divorce suggests that the lower educated are more likely to have personality traits that reduce relationship stability. However, few empirical verifications of this proposition exist. To fill this void, we look at the distribution of personality traits across educational groups of married individuals in Britain. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey (N = 2,665), we first estimated the effects of the “Big Five” personality traits agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience on divorce and subsequently examine their distribution across educational groups. We find that in particular women’s personality traits differ by education. We also observe that personality traits affecting divorce risk are distributed unevenly over educational groups, but they do not favor the higher educated in general. In sum, the data do not support the hypothesis that the lower educated in Britain have personality traits that reduce relationship stability.

Published in

Journal of Family Issues

Volume and page numbers

38 , 1339 -1362

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0192513X15585811

ISSN

16

Subjects

Psychology, Education, and Family Formation And Dissolution

Links

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users* - http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1616005~S5

#523098


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