Continuity and Change in Personality From Adolescence to Midlife: A 25-Year Longitudinal Study Comparing Conventional and Adjudicated Men on Five-Factor Model Measures

Julien Morizot, Universite de Montreal
Marc LeBlanc, University of Montreal

ABSTRACT
Continuity and change in personality are documented but longitudinal evidence is scarce. The present study examined differential and absolute continuity with the Five-Factor Model. The continuity was tested using data from an ongoing prospective longitudinal study with two samples of French-speaking men: a representative sample of the general population and a sample of adjudicated adolescents. The two samples were assessed on four occasions from adolescence to midlife: 15, 17, 30, and 40 years of age. Correlational analyses showed that differential continuity estimates were comparable to those observed in previous studies. The coefficients were stronger as age increased and for adjudicated men. At the mean level, adjudicated men displayedf lower scores on Emotional stability, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Conventionality. For absolute continuity, signifiant increases in these FFM domains were osbserved for both samples. This result suggested a normative intrinsic maturational trend in psychologial adjustment, at about one standard deviation or more from adolescence to midlife. Although both samples showed a significant improvement in personality profiles from adolescence to midlife, adjudicated men displayed a less accelerated increase in mean level scores from age 17 to 30. From age 30 to 40, the rate of change was similar for both samples.

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Updated 05/20/2006