Does your partner's personality affect your health? Actor and partner effects of the big five personality traits

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


The Big Five personality traits are powerful predictors of health and longevity. However, few studies have addressed partner effects of personality on health, whereby the personalities of people close to us affect our health. The current study examined the partner effects of Big Five traits on health behaviours, mood, and quality of life in romantic couples. Here, 182 romantic couples (N = 364 participants; Mage = 35.7 years) completed self-report measures of the Big Five (TIPI), health behaviours (GPHB), mood (DASS-21) and quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF). Data were analysed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model and showed significant partner effects of conscientiousness on quality of life. No other partner effects of the Big Five were found. These findings suggest that there are specific, focussed associations between health and a romantic partner’s personality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Jun 2019


  • personality traits
  • health
  • longevity

Cite this