Does your partner's personality affect your health?

Lynn Williams, Sarah Ashford-Smith, Laura Cobban, Rebecca Fitzsimmons, Vedika Sukhatme, Simon Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


An individual’s own personality traits are powerful predictors of their health outcomes (Strickhouser, Zell, & Krizan, 2017). Few studies have addressed partner effects of personality on health, whereby the personalities of people close to us affect our health. We aim to (i) replicate previous findings of beneficial partner effects of conscientiousness (Roberts et al., 2009; Nickel, Iveniuk, & Roberts, 2017) and, (ii) examine partner effects of Type D (joint effects of negative affect and social inhibition) (Denollet, 2005) for the first time. These findings suggest that there are partner effects of conscientiousness on health, but not for the other Big Five traits or Type D. Extends evidence on the compensatory effects of conscientiousness to quality of life. Partners high in conscientiousness may provide their partners with useful health-related reminders (e.g. to take medication) and be reliable and consistent providers of social support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date15 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • personality
  • dyadic
  • actor-partner interdependence model
  • quality of life


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