Personality attributes of males and females marrying within vs. Across racial/ethnic groups

Frank M. Ahern, Robert E. Cole, Ronald C. Johnson, Brenda Wong

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20 Scopus citations


As part of a larger study, Adjective Check List scores were obtained from 543 couples in Hawaii who had married within their own ethnic group and 83 who had not. Females who married across ethnic groups generally scored higher in one domain of personality (dominance) than did females who married within their own ethnic group. Males who married crossethnically also differed in dominance from those who did not, but in different directions in different ethnic groups. In the group that had the highest status (Caucasian) in the decades in which these subjects married, they were less dominant; in the other groups, to varying degrees, they were more dominant. In general, males and females in cross-ethnic matings were more similar in personality test scores than males and females who married within their own ethnic groups. Spouse correlations were generally positive but trivial in magnitude, with very little difference in personality between homogamous and heterogamous couples. The average difference in personality between those who married within and outside their own ethnic group was associated with the rarity of outmarriage for the sex and ethnic group concerned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-194
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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