Identity processes and personality traits and types in adolescence

Directionality of effects and developmental trajectories

K. Luyckx, E. Teppers, T.A. Klimstra, J. Rassart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Personality traits are hypothesized to be among the most important factors contributing to individual differences in identity development. However, longitudinal studies linking Big Five personality traits to contemporary identity models (in which multiple exploration and commitment processes are distinguished) are largely lacking. To gain more insight in the directionality of effect and the developmental interdependence of the Big Five and identity processes as forwarded in multilayered personality models, the present study assessed personality and identity in 1,037 adolescents 4 times over a period of 3 years. First, using cross-lagged path analysis, Big Five traits emerged as consistent predictors of identity exploration processes, whereas only one significant path from identity exploration to the Big Five was found. Second, using latent class growth analysis, 3 Big Five trajectory classes were identified, resembling the distinctions typically made between resilients, overcontrollers, and undercontrollers. These classes were characterized by different initial levels and (to a lesser extent) rates of change in commitment and exploration processes. In sum, important developmental associations linking personality traits to identity processes were uncovered, emphasizing the potential role of personality traits in identity development. Developmental implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2144-2153
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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personality traits
adolescence
personality
commitment
Individuality
path analysis
interdependence
longitudinal study
adolescent

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title = "Identity processes and personality traits and types in adolescence: Directionality of effects and developmental trajectories",
abstract = "Personality traits are hypothesized to be among the most important factors contributing to individual differences in identity development. However, longitudinal studies linking Big Five personality traits to contemporary identity models (in which multiple exploration and commitment processes are distinguished) are largely lacking. To gain more insight in the directionality of effect and the developmental interdependence of the Big Five and identity processes as forwarded in multilayered personality models, the present study assessed personality and identity in 1,037 adolescents 4 times over a period of 3 years. First, using cross-lagged path analysis, Big Five traits emerged as consistent predictors of identity exploration processes, whereas only one significant path from identity exploration to the Big Five was found. Second, using latent class growth analysis, 3 Big Five trajectory classes were identified, resembling the distinctions typically made between resilients, overcontrollers, and undercontrollers. These classes were characterized by different initial levels and (to a lesser extent) rates of change in commitment and exploration processes. In sum, important developmental associations linking personality traits to identity processes were uncovered, emphasizing the potential role of personality traits in identity development. Developmental implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.",
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Identity processes and personality traits and types in adolescence : Directionality of effects and developmental trajectories. / Luyckx, K.; Teppers, E.; Klimstra, T.A.; Rassart, J.

In: Developmental Psychology, Vol. 50, No. 8, 2014, p. 2144-2153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Identity processes and personality traits and types in adolescence

T2 - Directionality of effects and developmental trajectories

AU - Luyckx, K.

AU - Teppers, E.

AU - Klimstra, T.A.

AU - Rassart, J.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Personality traits are hypothesized to be among the most important factors contributing to individual differences in identity development. However, longitudinal studies linking Big Five personality traits to contemporary identity models (in which multiple exploration and commitment processes are distinguished) are largely lacking. To gain more insight in the directionality of effect and the developmental interdependence of the Big Five and identity processes as forwarded in multilayered personality models, the present study assessed personality and identity in 1,037 adolescents 4 times over a period of 3 years. First, using cross-lagged path analysis, Big Five traits emerged as consistent predictors of identity exploration processes, whereas only one significant path from identity exploration to the Big Five was found. Second, using latent class growth analysis, 3 Big Five trajectory classes were identified, resembling the distinctions typically made between resilients, overcontrollers, and undercontrollers. These classes were characterized by different initial levels and (to a lesser extent) rates of change in commitment and exploration processes. In sum, important developmental associations linking personality traits to identity processes were uncovered, emphasizing the potential role of personality traits in identity development. Developmental implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

AB - Personality traits are hypothesized to be among the most important factors contributing to individual differences in identity development. However, longitudinal studies linking Big Five personality traits to contemporary identity models (in which multiple exploration and commitment processes are distinguished) are largely lacking. To gain more insight in the directionality of effect and the developmental interdependence of the Big Five and identity processes as forwarded in multilayered personality models, the present study assessed personality and identity in 1,037 adolescents 4 times over a period of 3 years. First, using cross-lagged path analysis, Big Five traits emerged as consistent predictors of identity exploration processes, whereas only one significant path from identity exploration to the Big Five was found. Second, using latent class growth analysis, 3 Big Five trajectory classes were identified, resembling the distinctions typically made between resilients, overcontrollers, and undercontrollers. These classes were characterized by different initial levels and (to a lesser extent) rates of change in commitment and exploration processes. In sum, important developmental associations linking personality traits to identity processes were uncovered, emphasizing the potential role of personality traits in identity development. Developmental implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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