The present study investigated Big Five personality trait development in the transition to early adolescence (from the fifth to eighth grade). Personality traits were assessed in 2,761 (47% female) students over a 3-year period of time. Youths’ self-reports and parent ratings were used to test for cross-informant agreement. Acquiescent responding and measurement invariance were established with latent variable modeling. Growth curve models revealed three main findings: (a) Normative mean-level changes occurred for youths’ self-report data and parent ratings with modest effects in both cases. (b) Agreeableness and Openness decreased for self-reports and parent ratings, whereas data source differences were found for Conscientiousness (decreased for self-reports and remained stable for parent ratings), Extraversion (increased for self-reports and decreased for parent ratings), and Neuroticism (remained stable for self-reports and decreased for parent ratings). (c) Girls showed a more mature personality overall (self-reports and parent ratings revealed higher levels of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness) and became more extraverted in the middle of adolescence (self-reports). Personality changes modestly during early adolescence whereby change does not occur in the direction of maturation, and substantial differences exist between parent ratings and self-reports.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology