Researchers examined over 1,700 married couples to determine whether materialistic individuals (i.e., those who agree with statements such as “I like to own things to impress people” and “money can buy happiness”) experience increased relationship problems. More materialistic individuals reported less partner responsiveness, worse communication, poorer conflict resolution, and lower marital quality compared to people who devalue material possessions. The negative effects of materialism were more pronounced when both partners were materialistic.
Carroll, J. S., Call, L. L., Busby, D. M., & Dean, L. R. (2011). Materialism and marriage: Couple profiles of congruent and incongruent spouses. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 10(4), 287-308. doi:10.1080/15332691.2011.613306