Date of Conferral







Michael B. Johnson


Over 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Researchers have attempted to identify factors that help marriages endure by studying personality, attachment styles, and gender. However, few researchers have examined how dyadic interactions of personality types and attachment types influence marital satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of enneagram personality types on marital satisfaction within 3 groups of attachment types: couples who (a) both demonstrate a secure attachment style, (b) contain one member who demonstrates an insecure attachment style and the other who demonstrates a secure attachment style, and (c) both demonstrate an insecure attachment style. Grounded in attachment theory, interpersonal theory, and the enneagram, complementary personality types should relate to greater global marital satisfaction, independent from attachment style. This cross-sectional study used the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, the Satisfaction With Married Life Scale, and the Revised Adult Attachment Scale to collect data from 324 married couples. A factorial ANOVA indicated that couples having one or both partners who exhibit a secure attachment style have significantly greater global marital satisfaction scores than if both partners have an insecure attachment style. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant differences in global marital satisfaction scores among couples who exhibit any enneagram personality type. Additionally, the interaction effect of enneagram personality types and attachment types were not statistically significant for global marital satisfaction. Therapists can integrate these results with their current model of treatment when working with couples toward forming an earned secure attachment, thereby, improving the effectiveness of couple therapy which may create systemic social change.