The effects of socioeconomic status on personality development in adulthood and aging

Jing Luo, Bo Zhang, Stephen Antonoplis, Daniel K. Mroczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intro: The current study examined the effects of adulthood socioeconomic status (SES) on levels of and changes in the Big Five personality traits domains and nuances in adulthood and during aging. We also tested whether the relations between adulthood SES and personality traits differed by childhood SES and age. Methods: Data were drawn from three longitudinal studies: the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA, N = 2000), the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS, N = 6428), and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS, N = 23,238). Results: Using the latent growth models, across samples, we found associations between high SES and low levels of neuroticism and high levels of extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness. The effects of SES on changes in personality traits were mainly observed in the aging sample of HRS. In general, a similar pattern was observed at the nuance level. Analyses of the moderating effects of age suggested some evidence for the increasingly important role of SES in levels of and changes in personality traits in older ages. Conclusion: The findings support SES as a source that partially accounts for individual differences in personality traits level. Some evidence was found for the relations between SES and changes in personality traits in old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-260
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • adulthood development
  • aging
  • longitudinal
  • personality
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of socioeconomic status on personality development in adulthood and aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this