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Unformatted text preview: iven the transitional nature
of these years, young adulthood may be a time during which personality
is especially susceptible to change.
The present study examined personality continuity and change in
young adulthood, using longitudinal data on a large sample of young
adults followed through their college years. Participants completed a
measure of the Big Five personality dimensions during the 1st week of
college and then 4 years later. These data provide a unique opportunity
to learn more about personality change during an important developmental transition.
Previous Research on Personality Stability
and Change in Young Adulthood There is ongoing debate concerning when in the life course personality
traits stop changing (e.g., Block, 1993; Costa & McCrae, 1994a;
Heatherton & Weinberger, 1994; Helson & Stewart, 1994; Roberts &
DelVecchio, 2000). Costa and McCrae (1994a) have argued that
personality is “set like plaster” by age 30. Although this assertion has
been debated, it nonetheless raises the question: What happens before
age 30? Most theorists agree that personality continues to develop during
young adulthood, and several longitudinal studies have found meaningful
changes in personality during this stage of life (e.g., Block, 1971, 1993;
Bloom, 1964; Haan, Millsap, & Hartka, 1986; Helson & Moane, 1987;
Jessor, 1983; McGue, Bacon, & Lykken, 1993; Mortimer, Finch, &
Kumka, 1982; Watson & Walker, 1996). According to Costa and McCrae
(1989), “Such findings constitute a mandate for studying personality
development during the decade of the 20s” (p. 53). Similarly, Watson and
Walker (1996) called for further research on personality development in
the period leading up to age 30: “Our results demonstrate the need for
studies that examine both stability and change during this critical,
transitional period of life” (p. 575). Personality Change 619 Most of the existing longitudinal studies of young adulthood first
assessed the participants in colleg...
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2010 for the course PSYCH PSY BEH P2 taught by Professor Susanturkcharles during the Fall '10 term at UC Irvine.
- Fall '10