Childhood personality predicts long-term trajectories of shyness and aggressiveness in the context of demographic transitions in emerging adulthood.

Abstract

In a 19-year longitudinal study, childhood personality characteristics (assessed by teachers at ages 4 to 6) were significantly related to both initial levels and changes in parental judgments of shyness and aggressiveness. Long-term stability was demonstrated by the fact that overcontrollers had consistently higher scores in shyness and undercontrollers in aggressiveness. However, undercontrollers' shyness and overcontrollers' aggressiveness changed over time from a low to a high level. Also, both types assumed adult social roles, such as leaving the parental home, establishing a first romantic relationship, and getting a part-time job, at a later time than the resilient participants. A mediation analysis indicated that under- and overcontrollers' increasing aggressiveness between age 17 and 23 was due to their longer latency of getting a part-time job. Together, results demonstrate the importance of considering person-environment transactions in explaining both change and stability in personality between childhood and adulthood.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2007.00480.x

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@article{Dennissen2008ChildhoodPP, title={Childhood personality predicts long-term trajectories of shyness and aggressiveness in the context of demographic transitions in emerging adulthood.}, author={Jaap J A Dennissen and Jens B. Asendorpf and Marcel A. G. van Aken}, journal={Journal of personality}, year={2008}, volume={76 1}, pages={67-99} }