Gender differences in interpersonal complementarity within roommate dyads

Emily B. Ansell, John E. Kurtz, Patrick M. Markey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Complementarity theory proposes specific hypotheses regarding interpersonal styles that will result in successful relationships. The present study sought to extend previous research on gender differences in complementarity through the examination of same-sex peer dyads and the use of informant reports of interpersonal style. One hundred twenty participants (30 male and 30 female roommate dyads) completed interpersonal circumplex ratings of their roommates and a relationship cohesion measure. Examinations of complementarity indicate that women reported significantly more complementarity than men within their roommate dyads. However, for men and women, the closer the dyad was to perfect complementarity in terms of dominance, the more cohesive the relationship. Results are discussed in relation to gender differences in social development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-512
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Complementarity
  • Gender differences
  • Interpersonal circumplex
  • Peer relationships
  • Relationship quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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