Given the transitional nature of these years young

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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.

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