Sex differences in autonomy-connectedness: The role of personality factors

Marcel A.L.M. van Assen*, Marrie H.J. Bekker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We examined the relationships between autonomy-connectedness components (Self-awareness: SA; Sensitivity to others: SO; and Capacity for managing new situations: CMNS) and the Big Five personality factors. Given the robust much higher levels of SO found in women than in men, we specifically aimed to investigate the degree of mediation of this sex difference by (one or more of) the Big Five factors. SEM analyses revealed that the Big Five could explain about 35% of the three autonomy-connectedness components' variance. However, the Big Five personality factors did not mediate the large sex difference on SO. Given the clinical relevance of SO, these results indicate that autonomy-connectedness, particularly SO, is an important factor to include in personality research and clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomy
  • Big Five
  • Connectedness
  • Gender differences
  • Mediation
  • Sensitivity to others


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