Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is related to five-factor model (FFM) traits and can be characterized as involving psychological and behavioral instability. A previous study comparing the FFM trait stability across individuals with borderline and other personality disorders found that the BPD group tended to have lower stability, particularly on neuroticism and conscientiousness and the overall configuration of FFM profiles over 6 years, suggesting that associated psychological and behavioral variability may be due to trait variability. The current study was designed to test the degree to which these findings replicate in another sample using different diagnostic and trait measures and extending the measurement period to 10 years. Results are consistent with previous findings in showing lower differential (rank-order) stability on conscientiousness, greater mean-level decreases on neuroticism, lower individual-level stability on conscientiousness, and lower ipsative stability of trait profile configurations among those with BPD. However, unlike the previous study, no differences were observed for differential or individual-level neuroticism or mean-level conscientiousness. Overall, findings show that the instability characteristic of BPD extends into typically stable personality traits, and that it does so with some specificity in terms of which traits are affected and how instability manifests.
Borderline Personality Disorder; Five-Factor Model; Latent Growth Curve Models; Personality Stability
A life-span health-behavior model was investigated in this longitudinal study of personality influences on health. Teachers assessed 963 elementary school children on traits that formed scales assessing the dimensions of the five-factor (Big Five) model of personality. Smoking, alcohol use, body mass index (BMI), and self-rated health were assessed 40 years later in midlife. Childhood personality traits were significantly associated with all four outcomes, and the effects were consistently larger for women than men. For men and women, childhood Conscientiousness was associated with less adult smoking and better adult self-rated health and, for women only, with lower adult BMI. Mediation analyses suggested that the effects of Conscientiousness on self-rated health were partially mediated by smoking and BMI. These findings add to the growing evidence that childhood personality traits predict adult health outcomes, and are discussed in terms of future testing of the life-span health-behavior model.
Big Five; smoking; alcohol; BMI; self-rated health; longitudinal study;
Personality is thought to affect obesity risk but before such information can be incorporated into prevention and intervention plans, robust and converging evidence concerning the most relevant personality traits is needed. We performed a meta-analysis based on individual–participant data from nine cohort studies to examine whether broad-level personality traits predict the development and persistence of obesity (n = 78,931 men and women; mean age 50 years). Personality was assessed using inventories of the Five-Factor Model (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience). High conscientiousness – reflecting high self-control, orderliness and adherence to social norms – was associated with lower obesity risk across studies (pooled odds ratio [OR] = 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.80–0.88 per 1 standard deviation increment in conscientiousness). Over a mean follow-up of 5.4 years, conscientiousness predicted lower obesity risk in initially non-obese individuals (OR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.85–0.92; n = 33,981) and was associated with greater likelihood of reversion to non-obese among initially obese individuals (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01–1.14; n = 9,657). Other personality traits were not associated with obesity in the pooled analysis, and there was substantial heterogeneity in the associations between studies. The findings indicate that conscientiousness may be the only broad-level personality trait of the Five-Factor Model that is consistently associated with obesity across populations.
Longitudinal analysis; meta-analysis; obesity; personality
This investigation tests whether the predictive power of the delay of gratification task (colloquially known as the “marshmallow test”) derives from its assessment of self-control or of theoretically unrelated traits. Among 56 school-age children in Study 1, delay time was associated with concurrent teacher ratings of self-control and Big Five conscientiousness—but not with other personality traits, intelligence, or reward-related impulses. Likewise, among 966 preschool children in Study 2, delay time was consistently associated with concurrent parent and caregiver ratings of self-control but not with reward-related impulses. While delay time in Study 2 was also related to concurrently measured intelligence, predictive relations with academic, health, and social outcomes in adolescence were more consistently explained by ratings of effortful control. Collectively, these findings suggest that delay task performance may be influenced by extraneous traits, but its predictive power derives primarily from its assessment of self-control.
delay of gratification; effortful control; impulsivity; conscientiousness; construct validity
Although stability and pervasive inflexibility are general criteria for DSM-IV personality disorders (PD), borderline PD (BPD) is characterized by instability in several domains including interpersonal behavior, affect, and identity. We hypothesized that such inconsistencies notable in BPD may relate to instability at the level of the basic personality traits that are associated with this disorder. Five types of personality trait stability across 4 assessments over 6 years were compared for BPD patients (N = 130 at first interval) and patients with other PDs (N = 302). Structural stability did not differ across groups. Differential stability tended to be lower for Five Factor Model traits in the BPD group, with the strongest and most consistent effects observed for neuroticism and conscientiousness. Growth curve models suggested that these two traits also showed greater mean-level change, with neuroticism declining faster and conscientiousness increasing faster, in the BPD group. The BPD group was further characterized by greater individual-level instability for neuroticism and conscientiousness in these models. Finally, the BPD group was less stable in terms of the ipsative configuration of FFM facet-level profiles than was the other PD group over time. Results point to the importance of personality trait instability in characterizing BPD.
Personality traits predict numerous health outcomes, but previous studies have rarely used personality change to predict health.
The current investigation utilized a large national sample of 3,990 participants from the Midlife in the U.S. study (MIDUS) to examine if both personality trait level and personality change longitudinally predict 3 different health outcomes (i.e., self-rated physical health, self-reported blood pressure, and number of days limited at work or home due to physical health reasons) over a 10-year span.
Each of the Big Five traits, except openness, predicted self-rated health. Change in agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extraversion also predicted self-rated health. Trait levels of conscientiousness and neuroticism level predicted self-reported blood pressure. All trait levels except agreeableness predicted number of work days limited. Only change in conscientiousness predicted the number of work days limited.
Findings demonstrate that a full understanding of the link between personality and health requires consideration of trait change as well as trait level.
Health; Longitudinal change; Personality
The performance during the preclinical course of 517 students who had applied to this medical school for admission in 1981 and who had been accepted by the school or by another British medical school was analysed in relation to variables measured at the time of application to find factors that predicted success in the preclinical course, whether students chose to take an intercalated degree, and the class achieved in the intercalated degree. Thirty one of the 507 students who entered medical school withdrew from the course or failed their examinations; these students were particularly likely not to have an A level in a biological science. O level grades were of minimal predictive value for performance during the preclinical course. A level grades discriminated between successful and unsuccessful students but had too low a specificity or sensitivity to be of use in individual prediction. Mature entrants performed better overall than school leavers. Background variables accounted for only 14.2% of the variance in performance, implying that motivation and personality may be more important in determining performance. The 80 students who chose to take an intercalated degree were more likely to be men and not to be mature entrants; for a further 50 students intercalated degrees were obligatory. Performance in the intercalated degree related to performance during the preclinical course and to assessments made at the selection interview but not to achievement at O or A level.
The current research examined the longitudinal relationship between social engagement and personality traits in older adults. Specifically, the present research examined how engagement in family and community roles related to conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability in a sample of 100 Illinois residents age 60 to 86 assessed twice over a period of two and a half years. Social engagement and personality traits were prospectively related to conscientiousness and agreeableness over time in three ways. First, concurrent relationships during Wave 1 suggest that agreeable older adults are more socially engaged. Next, Wave 1 standing on both personality traits and social engagement predicted respective change over time. In addition, changes in engagement and personality traits covaried over time. The specific patterns present in the current study suggest that while some relationships were consistent with research findings in young adulthood and midlife, role investment in old age may have a distinctly different meaning than role investment earlier in the lifespan. These patterns suggest that personality traits can both inform our understanding of engagement during older adulthood and that personality traits may be meaningful outcomes of the aging experience in their own right.
To explore whether personality influences longevity we examined the personality characteristics of centenarians. We developed a new method that compares an actual personality test score for centenarians with a predicted test score for a 100-year-old, calculated from younger controls. The participants consisted of 70 cognitively intact Japanese centenarians aged 100–106 years and 1812 elderly people aged 60–84 years, all residents of Tokyo. The NEO five factor inventory (NEO-FFI) was used to assess the “big five” personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The results showed higher openness in both male and female centenarians, and higher conscientiousness and extraversion in female centenarians, as compared to controls. These results suggest that high scores in the specific personality traits conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness, are associated with longevity. We speculate that these personality traits contribute to longevity through health-related behavior, stress reduction, and adaptation to the challenging problems of the “oldest old”.
centenarian; longevity factors; NEO-FFI; personality traits
This study investigated a measurement model of personality resilience and the contribution of personality resilience to lower achieving first grade students' academic achievement. Participants were 445 ethnically diverse children who at entrance to first grade scored below their school district median on a test of literacy. Participants were administered an individual achievement test in first grade and 1 year later. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed a second-order latent construct of resilient personality defined by teacher-rated conscientiousness, agreeableness, and ego-resiliency that was distinct from measures of externalizing behaviors and IQ. Using latent structural equation modeling and controlling for baseline economic adversity, IQ, and externalizing symptoms, resilient personality predicted children's concurrent and future achievement (controlling also for baseline achievement in the prospective analyses). Model fit was invariant across gender.
Resilience; Academic achievement; Elementary students; Ego-resiliency; Positive personality; School readiness
We investigated the continuity of personality constructs in the Oregon Youth Substance Use Project, a cohort-sequential study encompassing development from early childhood to adolescence with five annual or biennial assessments. Sociability and Hostility, assessed by teachers’ ratings of children’s behaviors at each assessment, were related to the traits comprising the Five-Factor model assessed by teachers’ ratings at the fifth assessment. Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated that Sociability and Hostility were reliably measured at each assessment, and these constructs were relatively stable over time (mean rank-order stability coefficients over intervals of 1–5 years were .50 and .43, respectively). Sociability was most strongly associated (positively) with Extraversion, and Hostility was most strongly associated (negatively) with Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability. No differences were found for younger versus older children. Implications for measuring childhood personality traits using teachers’ reports of early childhood behavior are discussed.
Sociability; Hostility; Five-Factor model; children’s personality; stability; continuity
Personality traits predict substance use in adolescence, but less is known about prospective substance use in middle age and beyond. Moreover, there is growing interest in how personality change and the multiplicative effects among personality traits relate to substance use. Participants included approximately 4,000 adults aged 25–74 who participated in two waves of the Midlife in the U.S. (MIDUS) study. Higher levels of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, and lower levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness predicted longitudinal substance use. Increases in neuroticism and openness predicted increased substance use while increases in conscientiousness and agreeableness predicted decreased substance use. Higher levels of conscientiousness moderated two of the other trait main effects. Personality, trait change, and interactions among traits reliably forecasted 10-year substance-use behaviors.
personality; interactions; change; conscientiousness; substance use; smoking; drinking; drug
The predictors and correlates of positive functioning among community prevention teams have been examined in a number of research studies; however, the role of personality has been neglected. In this study, we examined whether team member and leader personality dimensions assessed at the time of team formation predicted local prevention team functioning 2.5 – 3.5 years later. Participants were 159 prevention team members in 14 communities participating in the PROSPER study of prevention program dissemination. Three aspects of personality, aggregated at the team level, were examined as predictors: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness. A series of multivariate regression analyses were performed that accounted for the interdependency of five categories of team functioning. Results showed that average team member Openness was negatively, and Conscientiousness was positively linked to team functioning. The findings have implications for decisions about the level and nature of technical assistance support provided to community prevention teams.
During the evaluation process, Residency Admissions Committees typically gather data on objective and subjective measures of a medical student's performance through the Electronic Residency Application Service, including medical school grades, standardized test scores, research achievements, nonacademic accomplishments, letters of recommendation, the dean's letter, and personal statements. Using these data to identify which medical students are likely to become successful residents in an academic residency program in obstetrics and gynecology is difficult and to date, not well studied.
To determine whether objective information in medical students' applications can help predict resident success.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of all residents who matched into the Johns Hopkins University residency program in obstetrics and gynecology between 1994 and 2004 and entered the program through the National Resident Matching Program as a postgraduate year-1 resident. Residents were independently evaluated by faculty and ranked in 4 groups according to perceived level of success. Applications from residents in the highest and lowest group were abstracted. Groups were compared using the Fisher exact test and the Student t test.
Seventy-five residents met inclusion criteria and 29 residents were ranked in the highest and lowest quartiles (15 in highest, 14 in lowest). Univariate analysis identified no variables as consistent predictors of resident success.
In a program designed to train academic obstetrician-gynecologists, objective data from medical students' applications did not correlate with successful resident performance in our obstetrics-gynecology residency program. We need to continue our search for evaluation criteria that can accurately and reliably select the medical students that are best fit for our specialty.
Limited research exists exploring the influence of personality on adherence behaviour. Since non-adherence is a major obstacle in treating prevalent chronic diseases the aim was to determine whether personality traits are related to reported adherence to medication in individuals with chronic disease.
Individuals with chronic disease (n = 749) were identified in a random population sample of 5000 inhabitants aged 30–70 in two municipalities in West Sweden. Data on five personality traits, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to experiences, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, and medication adherence behaviour was collected by questionnaires. Statistical analyses resulted in a negative relationship between Neuroticism and medication adherence (P<0.001), while both Agreeableness (P<0.001) and Conscientiousness (P<0.001) were positively related to adherence. At high levels of Conscientiousness, low adherence was related to higher scores in Neuroticism. At high levels of Agreeableness, low adherence was related to low scores in Conscientiousness and high scores in Openness to experiences.
This study demonstrated that multiple personality traits are of significant importance for adherence behaviour in individuals with chronic disease. The findings suggest that several personality traits may interact in influencing adherence behaviour. Personality traits could putatively be used to focus efforts to educate and support patients with high risk of low medical adherence.
We investigated associations between personality and health cognitions and behaviors related to preparation for future care among 355 primary care patients who were 65 years of age and older. Path analyses examined the effects of the personality traits of neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness on health cognitions about future care (avoidance, awareness), health-planning behaviors (gathering information, decision making, and planning), and beliefs about planning, while covarying age, gender, education, medical burden, functional status, and depression-symptom severity. Higher levels of neuroticism, openness, and agreeableness were associated with greater awareness of care needs; higher openness was also associated with more gathering of information and less avoidance. Extraversion and conscientiousness were not related to future-oriented health cognitions. Depression was inversely associated with the gathering of information. Age and education were related to more positive beliefs about the planning. Neither concrete planning nor decision making were related to personality variables. Health professionals should consider the impact of individual differences when addressing preparation for future care with older adults.
Long-term care planning; Personality traits; Primary care; Future care needs; Decision-making; Health cognitions
Medical practice encompasses a diverse spectrum of specialties. Factors that impact selection of clinical disciplines by young physicians may have recently evolved associated with changes in medical school demographics. We assessed whether physicians gravitate to certain practice specialties due to preexisting personality traits. The Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Personality Inventory Revised Test was administered prospectively to 130 first-year students the week before they began medical school. Scores for five traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness) were compared with the selection among nine medical residencies at the conclusion of medical school. Personality scores for medical students selecting psychiatry residencies showed greater degrees of neuroticism (P < 0.01) and openness (P < 0.03). Students electing family practice also deviated from other specialties, showing a lower degree of neuroticism (P < 0.03). Unexpectedly, personality traits in prospective surgical residents did not differ from those of students choosing nonsurgical residencies. Personality profiles present before medical school appear to predict the selection of some residencies and clinical specialties but not others.
This report provides some initial findings from an investigation of the relations between childhood Big Five personality traits assessed by elementary-school teachers and similar traits assessed 40 years later by self-reports at midlife. Our analyses are based on data from a relatively large and culturally diverse sample (N = 799) that was first assessed between 1959 and 1967 when the participants were children in Hawaii. Short-term (1-3 years) test retest reliabilities were lower (.22 -.53) within childhood when personality is developing than within adulthood (.70 -.79) when personality stability may be at its peak. Stability coefficients across the 40-year interval between the childhood assessment and two measures of adulthood personality were higher for Extraversion (e.g., .29) and Conscientiousness (e.g., .25) than for Openness (e.g., .16), Agreeableness (e.g., .08) and Neuroticism (e.g., .00). Construct continuity between childhood and adulthood was evaluated by canonical analysis and by structural-equation modeling and indicated continuity at both a broad, two-dimensional level and at the level of the Big Five. The findings are discussed in relation to Caspi, Roberts, and Shiner’s (2005) principles of rank-order personality stability.
personality stability; Big Five; construct continuity; longitudinal study
We investigated the degree to which parent positive personality characteristics in terms of conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability predict similar adolescent personality traits over time as well as the role played by positive parenting in this process. Mothers and fathers of 451 White adolescents (52% female, mean age = 13.59 years) were assessed on three occasions, with 2-year lags between each assessment. Parent personality and observed positive parenting both predicted 12th graders personality. Additionally, we found evidence for an indirect link between parent personality and later adolescent personality through positive parenting. The results suggest that parents may play a significant role in the development of adolescent personality traits that promote competence and personal well-being across the life course.
Parenting style; childrearing practices; personality development; socialization; five factor model
The current study investigated if the Big 5 personality traits predicted interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels in a national sample over the course of 5 years. In addition, interactions among the Big 5 were tested to provide a more accurate understanding of how personality traits may influence an inflammatory biomarker. Data included 1,054 participants in the Midlife Development in the U.S. (MIDUS) biomarkers subproject. The Big 5 personality traits were assessed in 2005-06 as part of the main MIDUS survey. Medication use, comorbid conditions, smoking behavior, alcohol use, body mass index, and serum levels of IL-6 were assessed in 2005-2009 as part of the biomarkers subproject. Linear regression analyses examined personality associations with IL-6. A significant Conscientiousness*Neuroticism interaction revealed that those high in both Conscientiousness and Neuroticism had lower circulating IL-6 levels than people with all other configurations of Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. Adjustment for health behaviors diminished the magnitude of this association but did not eliminate it, suggesting that lower comorbid conditions and obesity may partly explain the lower inflammation of those high in both Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. Our findings suggest, consistent with prior speculation, that average to higher levels of Neuroticism can in some cases be associated with health benefits—in this case when it is accompanied by high Conscientiousness. Using personality to identify those at risk may lead to greater personalization in the prevention and remediation of chronic inflammation.
Personality; interactions; inflammation; interleukin 6; IL-6; health behaviors
To solicit school principals’ and teachers’ perspectives on children’s screen-related sedentary behaviour and to identify possible solutions to reduce sedentary behaviours among school-aged children.
In-person interviews using a semi-structured interview guide were conducted with school principals and grades five and six classroom teachers in 14 randomly selected elementary schools in London and Middlesex County, Ontario. Fourteen principals and 39 classroom teachers participated in the study. Inductive content analysis was performed independently by two researchers.
Both principals and teachers were very concerned about children’s excessive screen activities, but they did not perceive that they could play a key role in reducing these behaviours. Key barriers were identified to reducing screen-related sedentary behaviour and to children’s active living both at and away from school. They included competing demands from other subjects, limited gym resources/space within the school, a lack of control over the home environment, and a perception that parents were poor role models. Notwithstanding the above barriers, principals and teachers still recommended increasing children’s daily physical activity both within and outside of school hours. Furthermore, they stressed the need for parents to play a key role in reducing their children’s screen-related sedentary behaviours and increasing their level of physical activity.
School principals and teachers were very concerned about excessive screen-behaviour among school-aged children when away from school and suggested that interventions should emphasize increasing daily physical education, promoting recreational sports at or away from school, and engaging parents in regulating screen time at home.
PMID: 21468163 CAMSID: cams1501
sedentary behaviour; school personnel; children; physical activity
Teacher, peer, and student reports of the quality of the teacher-student relationship were obtained for an ethnically diverse and academically at-risk sample of 706 second and third grade students. Cluster analysis identified four types of relationships based on the consistency of child reports of support and conflict in the relationship with reports of others: Congruent positive, Congruent Negative, Incongruent Child Negative and Incongruent Child Positive. The cluster solution evidenced good internal consistency and construct validity. Cluster membership predicted growth trajectories for teacher-rated engagement and standardized achievement scores over the following three years, above prior performance. The predictive associations between child reports of teacher support and conflict and outcomes depended on whether child reports were consistent or inconsistent with reports of others. Study findings have implications for theory development, assessment of teacher-student relationships, and teacher professional development.
Greater levels of conscientiousness have been associated with lower levels of negative affect. We focus on one mechanism through which conscientiousness may decrease negative affect: effective emotion regulation, as reflected by greater recovery from negative stimuli. In 273 adults who were 35 - 85 years old, we collected self-report measures of personality including conscientiousness and its self-control facet, followed on average 2 years later by psychophysiological measures of emotional reactivity and recovery. Among middle-aged adults (35 - 65 years old), the measures of conscientiousness and self-control predicted greater recovery from, but not reactivity to, negative emotional stimuli. The effect of conscientiousness and self-control on recovery was not driven by other personality variables or by greater task adherence on the part of high conscientiousness individuals. In addition, the effect was specific to negative emotional stimuli and did not hold for neutral or positive emotional stimuli.
This longitudinal study examined the relation between continuity and change in the Big Five personality traits and life events. Approximately 2,000 German students were tracked from high school to university or to vocational training or work, with 3 assessments over 4 years. Life events were reported retrospectively at the 2nd and 3rd assessment. Latent curve analyses were used to assess change in personality traits, revealing 3 main findings. First, mean-level changes in the Big Five factors over the 4 years were in line with the maturity principle, indicating increasing psychological maturity from adolescence to young adulthood. Second, personality development was characterized by substantive individual differences relating to the life path followed; participants on a more vocationally oriented path showed higher increases in conscientiousness and lower increases in agreeableness than their peers at university. Third, initial level and change in the Big Five factors (especially Neuroticism and Extraversion) were linked to the occurrence of aggregated as well as single positive and negative life events. The analyses suggest that individual differences in personality development are associated with life transitions and individual life experiences.
personality development; five-factor model; life events; stability; young adulthood
There is relatively little research on the role of teacher expectations in the early school years or on the importance of teacher expectations as a predictor of future academic achievement. The current study investigated these issues in the reading and mathematic domains for young children. Data from nearly 1,000 children and families at first, third, and fifth grades were included. Child sex and social skills emerged as consistent predictors of teacher expectations of reading and, to a lesser extent, math ability. In predicting actual future academic achievement, results showed that teacher expectations were differentially related to achievement in reading and math. There was no evidence that teacher expectations accumulate but some evidence that they remain durable over time for math achievement. Additionally, teacher expectations were more strongly related to later achievement for groups of children who may be considered to be at risk.
teacher expectations; teacher perceptions; self-fulfilling prophecy; academic achievement