The Prospective Power of Personality Factors for Family Formation and Dissolution Processes among Males: Evidence from Swedish Register Data
Personality plays an essential role with respect to important life outcomes such as education or career success. Although these outcomes are linked with family formation processes, the association between personality and family formation (dissolution) has been underexplored in demographic research. My study contributes to existing research by examining the prospective association between two personality facets (social maturity (SM), and emotional stability (ES)) and family formation and dissolution processes, i.e. 1) marital status, 2) fertility, and 3) partnership dissolution as both a) divorce and b) cohabitation dissolution, based on large Swedish register data. Poisson regression, Linear Probability, and Cox proportional hazard models were applied for different outcomes. My findings suggest that males with high scores on SM and ES measured at age of assignment to military service (17-20 years) are more likely to get married by age 39 and higher. Regarding fertility, SM and ES reveal positive associations with offspring counts and negative associations with the probability of remaining childless by age 39 and higher. Relationship dissolution is linked with SM via a U-shape pattern, i.e. highest and lowest scores on this trait are associated with higher separation risks. Further analyses using sibling comparisons support these findings.