A Structural Model of Marital Commitment Prediction based on Personality Traits by the Mediation of Attachment Styles and Self-differentiation

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Khomein Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khomein, Iran

2 The Institute for Research and Development in Humanities, SAMT, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: This study aimed to develop a structural model for marital commitment based on personality traits according to the mediating role of attachment styles and self-differentiation.
Method: In a correlational research method, 409 volunteers (204 women and 205 men) were selected by convenience sampling method among the married students of the Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch in 2017. They answered to the following questionnaires: Neo-FFI, Adult Attachment Style, self-differentiation and Marital Commitment. Data was analyzed using structural equation modeling by SPSS and LISREL software packages.
Results: Findings showed that in overall, a prediction model of marital commitment based on personality traits, attachment styles, and self-differentiation was confirmed and its fit goodness was approved. In regards to the RMSEA index, the fit goodness of the model was approved, as well. Regarding direct ways, all were confirmed except the effect of attachment styles on marital commitment. Besides, regarding indirect ways, the effect of attachment styles on the marital commitment was confirmed through the mediating role of self-differentiation.
Conclusion: This study shows that focusing on personality traits, attachment styles, and self-differentiation can cause considerable effects on increasing marital commitment.



1.   Amato P. The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation. Future Child. 2005;15(2):75-96.

2.   Dean DG, & Spanier, G. B.,. Commitment: An overlooked variable in marital adjustment. . Sociological Focus. 1974;7:113–8.

3.   Costa PT, & MacCrae, R. R.,. Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and Individual Differences. 1992;13:653-65.

4.   Happiness Ihuoma I, Awopetu, R.G., & Ekoja, O.C. Relationship between Duration of Marriage, Personality Trait, Gender and Conflict Resolution Strategies of Spouses. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2015;190:490 – 6.

5.   Daljeet KN, Bremner, N.L., Giammarco, E.A., Meyer, J.P., & Paunoen, S.V. Taking a Person-Centered Approach to Personality: A Latent-Profile Analysis of the HEXACO Model of Personality. Journal of Research in Personality. 2017;70:241-51.

6.   Both LEB, L. A. A comparison of two attachment measures in relation to personality factors and facets. Personality and Individual Differences. 2017;112:1-5.

7.   Boyce CJ, Wood, A. M., & Fergoson, E. For better or for worse: The moderating effects of personality on the marriage-life satisfaction link. Personality and Individual Differences. 2016;97:61–6.

8.   Malouff JM, Thorsteinsson, E. B., Schutte, N. S., Bhullar, N., & Rooke, S. E. The Five Factor Model of personality and relationship satisfaction of intimate partners: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Personality. 2010;44:127-.

9.   Hosseini A, Zahrakar, K., Davarnia, R., Shakarami, M., & Mohammadi, B. The Relationship between Marital Commitment with Personality Traits. Journal of Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences. 2015;22(5):788-96.

10. Izatti UA, Suhariadi, F., & Hadi, C. Personality trait as predictor of affective commitment. Social Science. 2015;3:34-9.

11. Morgan JH, & Shaver, P. Attachment Processes and Commitment to Romantic Relationships. In: Adams J.M. JWH, editor. Handbook of Interpersonal Commitment and Relationship Stability Perspectives on Individual Differences. Boston, MA: Springer; 1999.

12. Simpson JAR, W. S. Adult attachment, stress, and romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology. 2017;13:19-24.

13. Feeney JAN, P. Attachment style as a predictor of adult romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1990;58:281-91.

14. Hazan C, & Shaver, P. Conceptualizing romantic love as an attachmentprocess. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1987;52:511-24.

15. Muraru A, & Turliuc, M Predictors of Marital Adjustment: Are There Any Differences Between Women and Men? Europe’s Journal of Psychology. 2013;9:427-42.

16. Hadi S, Eskandari, H., Sohrabi, F., Motamedy, A., & Farrokhi, N. Relationship between attachment styles and marital commitment in people with marital infidelity. Journal of counseling research. 2017;15(60):42-59.

17. Hadi S, & Eskandari, H.S. tructural models predict marital commitment based on attachment styles and mediator variables self-control and early maladaptive schemas (in people with emotional extramarital relations). Counseling Culture and Psychotherapy. 2017;7(28):33-60.

18. Peleg O, Deutch, Ch., & Dan, O. Test anxiety among female college students and its relation to perceived parental academic expectations and differentiation of self. Learning and Individual Differences. 2016;49:428-36.

19. Zarei S, & Hossingholi, F. Predicting marital commitment based on self-conscious emotions (shame and sin) and self-differentiation among married students. Family Counseling and Psychotherapy. 2014;4(1):113-33.

20. Burri A, Schwezer, R., & O` Brein, J. Correlates of Female Sexual Functioning: Adult Attachment and Differentiation of Self. Sex Medicine. 2014;11:2188-95.

21. Karami J, Zakiei, A., & Alikhani, M. Explanation of self-differentiation in accordance with attachment styles and alexithymia. International Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 2014;8(2):139-48.

22. Skowron  EA, & Dendy, A. K. Differentiation of self and attachment in adulthood: relational correlates of effortful control. Contemporary Family Therapy. 2004;3(26):337-57.

23. Ghanbari Hashem Abadi B.A. HVA, Esmaili M., & Farahbakhsh, K. 2011. Women’s Sociology. Relationship between parenting styles, attachment and marital commitment among married women of Allameh Tabatabaee University;2(3):39-61.

24. Momeni K, Kavoosi Omid, S., & Amani, R. Predicting marital commitment on the basis of differentiation of self, family adaptability and cohesion, and marital intimacy. Family Pathology, Counseling and Enrichment Journal. 2015;1(2):46-58.

25. Aslani K, Abdollahi, N., & Amanollahi, A. The relationship between attachment style and marital commitment with the mediation of differentiation of self and feeling of guilt on female married students in Ahvaz. Journal of counseling research. 2017;15(61):191-220.

26. Novak JR, Smith, H. M., Larson, J. H., & Crane, D. R. Commitment, Forgiveness, and Relationship Self-Regulation: An Actor Partner Interdependence Model of Rleationship Virtues and Relationship Effort in Couple Relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2017;4:1-13.

27. Veldorale-Brogan A, Bradford, K., & Vail, A. Marital virtues and their relationship to individual functioning, communication and relationship adjustment. The journal of positive psychology. 2010;5(4):281-93.

28. Schumacker RE, & Lomax, R. G. A beginner's guide to structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group; 2010.

29. Goekoop R, Goekoop, J.G, & Scholte, H.S. The network structure of human personality according to the NEO-PI-R: matching network community structure to factor structure. PLoS One. 2017;7(12):e51558.

30. McCrae RR, & Costa, P. T. A Five-Factor theory of personality. In: L.A. JOP, editor. Handbook of personality: Theory and research. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press; 1999. p. 139-53.

31. Anisi J, Majdiyan, M., Joshanloo, M., &  Ghoharikamel, Z. Validity and reliability of NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) on university students. International Journal of Behavioral Sciences,. 2012;5(4):351-6.

32. Collins NL, & Read, S. J. Adult attachment, working models, and relationship quality in dating couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1990;58:644-63.

33. Firoozabadi A, Abedi, Z., Aliyari, R., Zolfaghari, B., & Ghanizadeh, A. Psychometric characteristics of the persian (farsi) version of attachment style questionnaire. Iran J Med Sci. 2014;39(6):506-14.

34. Skowron EAS, T. A. Assessing interpersonal fusion: Reliability and validity of a new DSI fusion with others subscale. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2003;29(2):209-22.

35. Younesi F. Standardization of DSI-R in Iran. Tehran: Allame Tabatabaei; 2006.

36. Adams JMJWH. The conceptualization of marital commitment: An integrative analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1997;72(5):184-94.

37. Karimian N, Karimi, Y., & Bahmani, B. The Relationship of Mental Health Dimensions and Guilt Feeling with Marital Commitment in Married People. Family Counseling and Psychotherapy. 2011;1(2):243-56.

38. Boertien D, & Mortelmans, D. Does the relationship between personality and divorce change over time? A cross-country comparison of marriage cohorts. Acta Sociologica. 2017;61:000169931770904.

39. Roberts BW, Kuncel, N. R., Shiner, R., Caspi, A., & Goldberg, L. R. The Power of Personality: The Comparative Validity of Personality Traits, Socioeconomic Status, and Cognitive Ability for Predicting Important Life Outcomes. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2007;2:313-45.

40. Altgelt EE, Reyes, M. A., French, J. E., Meltzer, A. L., & McNulty, J.K Who is sexuality faitful? Own and psrtner personality traits as predictors of infidelity. Social and Personal Relationships. 2018;35(4):600-14.

41. Kelley HH, & Thibaut, J. W. Interpersonal relations: A theory of interdependence. New York, NY: Wiley; 1978.

42. Zayas V, Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. N. Personality in context: An interpersonal systems perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2002;70:851-900.

43. Nilforoushan P. ASA, Fatehizadeh, M., Abedi, M.R., & Ghasemi, V. The correlation between attachment styles and 5 big personality traits from individual and couple aspects. Family Research. 2010;6(2):257-72.

44. Sroufe L, & Watters, M. Attachment as an organizational construct. Child Development. 1977;48:1184.

45. Donnellan MB, Burt, S. A., Levendosky, A. A., & Klump, K. L. Genes, personality, and attachment in adults: a multivariate behavioral genetic analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2008;34(1):3-16.

46. Mikulincer M, & Shaver, P. R. The attachment behavioral system in adulthood: Activation, Psychodynamics, and interpersonal processes. In: M.P Z, editor. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 35. Sandiego: Academic Press; 2003.

47. Sibley CG, & Overall, N. C. The boundaries between attachment and personality: Localized versus generalized effects in daily social interaction. Journal of Research in Personality. 2008;42:1394-407.

48. Bello R, Brandau-Brown, F. E., & Ragsdale, J. D. Attachment Style, Marital Satisfaction, Commitment, and Communal Strength Effects on Relational Repair Message Interpretation among Remarrieds. Communication Quarterly. 2008;56(1):1-16.

49. Ghezelseflo M, Jazayeri, R., Bahrami, F., & Mohammadi Fesharaki, R. The Role of Relational Maintenance Behavior and Attachment Styles in Predicting Marital Commitment. Asian Social Science. 2017;12(9):223-9.

50. Kirkpatrick LA, & Hazan, C. Attachment styles and close relationships: A four-year prospective study. Personal Relationships. 1994;1(2):123-42.

51. Simpson JA, Rboles, W. S. & Nelligan, G. S. Attachment theory and close relationship. New York: Guilford Press; 1998.

52. Mark KP, Vowels, L.M., & Murray, S.H. The Impact of Attachment Style on Sexual Satisfaction and Sexual Desire in a Sexually Diverse Sample. J Sex Marital Ther. 2018;44(5):450-8.

53. Noftle EE, & Shaver, H. P. R. Attachment dimensions and the big five personality traits: Associations and Comparative ability to predict relationship quality. Journal of Research in Personality. 2006;40(23):179-208.

54. Feeney JA, Noller, P., & Callan. Attachment style, Communication, and satisfaction in the early years of marriage. In: Barttholomew. P, D, editor. Advance in personal relationships. 5. London: Jessica; 2010. p. 269-308.

55. Mokhtari Mosayyebu M, Khavari, M., & Mahmoudi, K, editor The prediction of the level of self-differentiation and attachment styles based on personality traits. The international conference on human sciences and behavioral studies; 2014; Tehran.

56. Askari F. Psychometric properties of self-differentiation and its correlation to personality characteristics of Tehran academic students. Tehran: Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch; 2013.

57. Glad GE. The effect of self-differentiation on marital conflict. American Journal of Pastoral Psychology. 2000;8:65-76.

58. Maser MJ. A construc validity of differentiation of self measures & their correlates: Seton Hall University.; 2011.