Personality correlates of marital dissatisfaction: a comparison of psychiatric, maritally distressed, and nonclinic samples. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the relationship between personality functioning as assessed by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and individuals' reports of marital distress on the Marital Satisfaction Inventory (MSI). Both the MMPI and MSI were administered to a total sample of 90 couples with 30 couples from each of three sources: couples in marital therapy, couples in which one partner was psychiatrically hospitalized or in individual outpatient psychotherapy, and nonclinic couples from the general population. Replicated scale-by-scale correlations between the two instruments generally indicated a positive but modest association between individuals' scores on the MMPI and self-reported marital distress. Both bivariate and multiple regression analyses employing either individual scales or conjoint configural analyses of couples' MMPI profiles consistently identified scale 4, Psychopathic deviance (Pd), as the best predictor of relationship distress across a broad spectrum of marital functioning. However, both individual MMPI scales and complex configural approaches misclassified a large percentage of couples across all three samples. Clinical implications of results are discussed.

published proceedings

  • J Sex Marital Ther

author list (cited authors)

  • Snyder, D. K., & Regts, J. M.

complete list of authors

  • Snyder, DK||Regts, JM

publication date

  • January 1, 1990 11:11 AM