Five types of personality continuity in childhood and adolescence.

F. de Fruyt, M. Bartels, K.G. van Leeuwen, B. de Clercq, M. Decuyper, I. Mervielde

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This study examines 5 types of personality continuity - structural, mean-level, individual-level, differential, and ipsative - in a representative population (N=498) and a twin and sibling sample (N=548) of children and adolescents. Parents described their children on 2 successive occasions with a 36-month interval using the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (I. Mervielde & F. De Fruyt, 1999). There was evidence for structural continuity in the 2 samples, and personality was shown to be largely differentially stable. A large percentage had a stable trait profile indicative of ipsative stability, and mean-level personality changes were generally small in magnitude. Continuity findings were explained mainly by genetic and nonshared environmental factors. Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-552
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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