childhood and adolescence vs. adulthood. Most youths become substantially less sociable and physically active with age, before mean levels of Extraversion and Activity stabilize during adulthood (Denissen et al., 2013; Soto, in press; Soto et al., 2011; Van den Akker et al., 2014). The development of Neuroticism appears to differ dramatically by gender. Boys and girls show similar degrees of anxiety and sadness throughout childhood. During adolescence, howevers, girls become increasingly prone to negative affect, whereas boys do not. As a result, a substantial gender difference in Neuroticism emerges by late adolescence and persists into adulthood (Soto, in press; Soto et al., 2011; Van den Akker et al., 2014). These findings indicate that childhood and adolescence are key periods of personality development, and offer a rough sketch of what this development looks like. A more complete picture, however, will require additional work. Studies that begin in the first decade of life (where personality research has been less common), examine development year by year (to capture rapid and curvilinear developmental trends), and continue into adulthood (to further clarify differences between youth vs. adult development) will be especially valuable. Correlates and Consequences of Youth Personality Traits Personality traits help shape the course of people’s lives through their associations with many important biological, social, and health outcomes (John et al., 2008; Ozer & Benet- Martinez, 2006). This is true not only in adulthood, but also in childhood and adolescence. For example, youth personality traits show meaningful associations with biomarkers including psychophysiological indices, neural correlates, and neuroendocrinological functioning (Shiner & DeYoung, 2013; Tackett, Herzhoff, Harden, Page-Gould, & Josephs, 2014). Such evidence points to continuity between the biological bases of youth and adult personality.
PERSONALITY TRAITS IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE 9 Beyond biological variables, youth personality traits are linked to a variety of social and environmental factors. For example, youth personality is associated with both positive and negative aspects of interpersonal relationships, including friendship, parenting quality, and social aggression (Smack, Kushner, & Tackett, 2015; Tackett, Kushner, Herzhoff, Smack, & Reardon, 2014). Some associations between youth traits and social outcomes are straightforward, while others involve moderation effects (i.e., interactions) between youth personality and parent behavior. Moreover, the traits that predispose youths toward a particular outcome are not necessarily the same traits that moderate parental influences on that outcome. For example, we recently found that youths higher in Neuroticism and lower in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness are more likely to engage in social aggression (Tackett, Kushner, et al., 2014), but that youths low in Extraversion and Openness are most susceptible to the impact of inconsistent parental discipline on their social aggression (Smack et al., 2015). Similarly, youth personality traits have been systematically linked with the frequency of life stressors (e.g.,
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