The Relations Between Parental Socioeconomic Status, Personality, and Life Outcomes

Mona Ayoub, Samuel D. Gosling, Jeff Potter, Michael Shanahan, Brent W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have shown that cognitive ability is correlated with parental socioeconomic status (pSES). However, little is known about the correlation between personality and pSES. To better understand this relation, we conducted a meta-analysis of the correlations between pSES and personality traits and temperament dimensions. The correlations were generally very small with the exception of the correlation between pSES and openness to experience. Our results were replicated in a large (N = 2,183,377) data set of self-reported personality scores collected online. Using this data set, we also examined the interaction between pSES and personality on attained education and socioeconomic status. We found evidence for the resource substitution hypothesis, which proposes that personality compensates for background disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-352
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • personality
  • personality development
  • socioeconomic status
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Relations Between Parental Socioeconomic Status, Personality, and Life Outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this