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For Better or for Worse: Spouse's Personality Affects Career

Sep 19, 2014 04:11 AM EDT

A new study suggests that even spouse's personality can affect a person's career.

According to researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis, husbands and wives can make or break one's career. Previous research has shown that being married significantly affects health and lifespan. The latest finding shows that spouse's presence can be felt even at workplaces.

"Our study shows that it is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success, but that your spouse's personality matters too," said Joshua Jackson, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and lead author of the study.

The researchers said that being married to a person with conscientiousness leads to a productive and fulfilling work-life. They further said that a conscientious spouse helps a person succeed by handling tasks more diligently. Spouses who pay bills, take care of children and help out with everyday activities reduce stress levels on the working spouse and positively affects their career.

The study was based on data from 5,000 married people ranging in age from 19 to 89 years, with 75 percent of the samples comprising of couples with both partners working. The researchers assessed the personality of the participants via psychological tests and scored them on the basis of five traits - openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness.

Career growth of the working spouse was tested via annual surveys that tracked their workplace performance and stress levels.

"This is another example where personality traits are found to predict broad outcomes like health status or occupational success, as in this study," Jackson said in a news release. "What is unique to this study is that your spouse's personality has an influence on such important life experiences."

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

A happy, married life is important for both good health and a prosperous career. But, what keeps the marriage stable? A new study recently found that wife's, not husband's, happiness determines the success of a marriage.

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