Studies of mate selection and success in marriage have been concerned with the degree of similarity between husband and wife. Some investigators, eg, Hollingshead,1 have presented essentially sociological data supporting a conception of homogamy, that "likes marry likes." Corsini2 and others have considered similarity of personality traits as positively related to marital happiness. Contrariwise, Winch has postulated a theory of complementary needs,3 that spouses select mates on the basis of significantly differing psychological characteristics or needs. Tharp, in a review and critique of this field,4 however, seriously questions the validity of Winch's work.
The degree of emotional health and social adaptation of marital partners as factors in marriage and mate selection has generally been neglected. Nor has there been presented a comparative baseline of sociological and psychological adaptation for husbands and wives. In an earlier report Golden et al5 presented a summary
GOLDEN JS, SILVER RJ, MANDEL N. The Wives of 50 "Normal" American Men. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(6):614-618. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720180086011