A longitudinal study of personality change in young adulthood

Richard W. Robins, R. Chris Fraley, Brent W. Roberts, Kali H. Trzesniewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present research examined personality continuity and change in a sample of young men and women assessed at the beginning and end of college. Two-hundred seventy students completed measures of the Big Five personality traits when they first entered college and then 4 years later. Analyses indicate small-to medium-sized normative (i.e., mean-level) changes, large rank-order stability correlations, high levels of stability in personality structure, and moderate levels of ipsative (i.e. profile) stability. Overall, the findings are consistent with the perspective that personality traits exhibit considerable continuity over time, yet can change in systematic ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-640
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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