Dispositional Optimism and Marital Adjustment

Agnes Machaty Terveer, Nathan D. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Research showing the distinct influence of positive attributes on relationships has been growing. This study examined the impact of husbands' and wives' dispositional optimism on their own and partner's relationship satisfaction, consensus, and cohesion using data from the National Survey of Families and Households. Results indicate that wives' optimism influences their own later marital satisfaction as well as their husbands' later marital satisfaction. However, husbands' optimism did not appear to influence their own nor their wives' later satisfaction. Potential interventions for increasing optimism in the therapeutic setting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-362
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households was funded by a grant (HD21009) from the Center for Population Research of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and the second and third waves were funded jointly by this grant and a grant (AG10266) from the National Institute on Aging. The survey was designed and carried out at the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of Larry Bumpass and James Sweet. The field work for the first two waves was done by the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University, and the third wave by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center.


  • Couples
  • Gender
  • Models of therapy
  • Optimism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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