Developmental structure of personality and interests: A four-wave, 8-year longitudinal study.

Kevin A. Hoff, Q. Chelsea Song, Sif Einarsdóttir, Daniel A. Briley, James Rounds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Personality traits and vocational interests capture different aspects of human individuality that intersect in certain ways. In this longitudinal study, we examined developmental relations between the Big 5 traits and RIASEC vocational interests over 4 timepoints from late adolescence to young adulthood (age 16–24) in a sample of Icelandic youth (N = 485) well-representative of the total student population. Results showed that interests and personality traits were similarly stable over time, but showed different patterns of mean-level change. There was evidence of personality maturation but a lack of cumulative changes in interest levels. For the most part, gender differences in developmental trends were minimal. In addition, latent growth curve analyses revealed broad and specific correlated changes between personality and interests. Changes in general factors of personality and interests were moderately related (r = .32), but stronger correlated changes were found among specific personality–interest pairs that share situational content. Overall, results reveal how interests and personality are related across different types of continuity and change. While there was little correspondence between group-level changes, substantial correlated change occurred at the individual level. This means that when a person’s personality changes, their interests tend to change in predictable ways (and vice versa). Integrative theories that link different aspects of psychological functioning can benefit by incorporating these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1064
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


  • continuity and change
  • correlated change
  • gender differences
  • longitudinal
  • personality and interest development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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