I've read quite a few statistics about divorce (sources here and here), and biggest factors seems to be:

  1. Culture - from 71% in Belgium to 2-3% in some traditional societies
  2. Income of the couple
  3. Ratio of the woman's income to the man

Other factors such as education and whether they come from divorced family also plays a big factor.

But what are some behavioral characteristic that have the biggest impact? For example are shy people less likely to get divorced controlled for everything else? Do people who had less sexual partners in their lifetime are less likely? Introverts or extroverts? Which of the 5 big personality traits predict best (Conscientiousness, ‎Openness to experience, ‎Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Extraversion)? I want some respected studies video lectures very much appreciated :)


1 Answer 1


This answer speaks mostly to the relationship between personality characteristics/disorders and divorce.

From the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire, it seems that Positive Emotionality and Negative Emotionality were positively related to divorce risk, while Constraint was negatively related (Jockin, Mcgue, & Lykken, 1996). Note that this study also looks at genetic factors, and finds that “In women and men, respectively, 30% and 42% of the heritability of divorce risk consisted of genetic factors affecting personality, and personality and divorce risk correlated largely as a result of these common genetic influences.”

From a bit of a different perspective, other studies have assessed the relationship between divorce and personality disorders:

Multiple regression analyses showed Paranoid and Histrionic personality disorder symptoms to be consistently and positively associated with number of divorces across all three sources of personality assessment. Conversely, Avoidant personality disorder symptoms were negatively associated with number of divorces (Disney, Weinstein, & Oltmanns, 2012).

I'll note that the Jockin, Mcgue, and Lykken study is rather old (contextually), and that the relationships that were clear 20 years ago may be different today.

Finally, though not related specifically to divorce, there is a nice article out there that attempts to illustrated differences in personalities for those looking for short-term vs. long-term relationships (Holtzman & Strube, 2013). This article specifically addresses an "array of personality traits (Big 5, Dark Triad, and Schizoid Personality)". A bit tangentially related, but perhaps of interest.


Disney, K. L., Weinstein, Y., & Oltmanns, T. F. (2012). Personality Disorder Symptoms Are Differentially Related to Divorce Frequency. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(6), 959–965. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030446

Holtzman, N. S., & Strube, M. J. (2013). Above and Beyond Short-Term Mating, Long-Term Mating is Uniquely Tied to Human Personality. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(5), 1101–1129. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491301100514

Jockin, V., Mcgue, M., & Lykken, D. T. (1996). Personality and Divorce: A Genetic Analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 7(2), 288–299. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.71.2.288


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