Reference : Patterns and Sources of Personality Development in Old Age
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Patterns and Sources of Personality Development in Old Age
Kandler, Christian [> >]
Kornadt, Anna Elena mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)]
Hagemeyer, Birk [> >]
Neyer, Franz J. [> >]
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] Despite abundant evidence that personality development continues in adulthood, little is known about the patterns and sources of personality development in old age. We thus investigated mean-level trends and individual differences in change as well as the genetic and environmental sources of rank-order continuity and change in several personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, perceived control, and affect intensity) and well-being. In addition, we analyzed the interrelation between perceived control and change in other personality traits as well as between change in personality traits and change in well-being. We analyzed data from older adult twins, aged 64-85 years at Time 1 (N = 410; 135 males and 275 females; 134 monozygotic and 63 dizygotic twin pairs), collected at 2 different time points about 5 years apart. On average, neuroticism increased, whereas extraversion, conscientiousness, and perceived control significantly decreased over time. Change in perceived control was associated with change in neuroticism and conscientiousness, pointing to particular adaptation mechanisms specific to old age. Whereas individual differences in personality traits were fairly stable due to both genetic and environmental sources, individual differences in change were primarily due to environmental sources (beyond random error) indicating plasticity in old age. Even though the average level of well-being did not significantly change over time, individual well-being tended to decrease with strongly increasing levels of neuroticism as well as decreasing extraversion, conscientiousness, and perceived control, indicating that personality traits predict well-being but not vice versa. We discuss implications for theory on personality development across the lifespan.

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