Spouses' gender-typed attributes and their links with marital quality: A pattern analytic approach

Heather M. Helms, Christine M. Proulx, Mary Maguire Klute, Susan M. McHale, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Using data from interviews with 194 midlife couples, we: (i) identified a typology of couple groups based on spouses' gender-typed attributes; (ii) described couple groups in terms of individual, contextual, and attitudinal characteristics; and (iii) linked couple groups with emotional, cognitive, and behavioral qualities of marriage across 3 years. Four couple types that differed in spouses' instrumental and expressive attributes were identified and replicated via cluster analysis. Gender-typed wives/extreme gender-typed-husband couples reported significantly lower levels of marital quality across the 3 years. Underscoring the importance of a dyadic approach, the research identifies common couple configurations based on spouses' gender-typed attributes, identifies couples with lower marital quality, and offers insights into personal-social attributes that may be protective in marriage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-864
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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