The kids are alright: Growth and stability in personality development from adolescence to adulthood

Brent W. Roberts, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This longitudinal study provides a comprehensive analysis of continuity and change in personality functioning from age 18 to age 26 in a birth cohort (N = 921) using the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (A. Tellegen, 1982). Data were analyzed using 4 different methods: differential continuity, mean-level change, individual differences in change, and ipsative change. Convergent evidence pointing toward personality continuity, as opposed to change, was found. The personality changes that did take place from adolescence to adulthood reflected growth in the direction of greater maturity; many adolescents became more controlled and socially more confident and less angry and alienated. Consistent with this, greater initial levels of maturity were associated with less personality change over time. The results indicate that the transition from adolescence to young adulthood is marked by continuity of personality and growth toward greater maturity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-683
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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