Spouse Similarity in Recollections of Parenting Received: A Study in a Nonclinical Sample


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Abstract

Despite a large body of research on both children's relationships to their parents and adult dyadic relationships, associations between these types of relationships have rarely been studied. In this paper, spouse similarity in recollections of parenting received in childhood was assessed in a nonclinical sample. Parenting by the same- and opposite-sex parent was measured using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). Spouse similarity was found with respect to the recalled level of care received from the same-sex parent. This correlation was independent of similarity in sociodemographic variables or current psychiatric symptomatology. The fact that spouse similarity did not increase with increasing age suggests that similarity is a result of assortative mating rather than convergence during marriage. These results suggest a significant association between parent-child relationships and the mating process.

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