Longitudinal associations between trait neuroticism and negative daily experiences in adolescence

J. Borghuis*, W. Bleidorn, K. Sijtsma, S. Branje, W.H.J. Meeus, J.J.A. Denissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


It is well established that trait neuroticism bears strong links with negative affect and interpersonal problems. The goal of this study was to examine the longitudinal associations between neuroticism and daily experiences of negative affect and interpersonal problems during the developmentally important period of adolescence. Dutch adolescents and their best friends (N = 1,046) completed up to 6 yearly personality trait questionnaires and up to 15 between-year assessment bursts between the ages 13 and 18. During each assessment burst, participants reported on 5 consecutive days about their experiences of negative affect and interpersonal conflict with their mother and their best friend. We estimated a series of multilevel random-intercept cross-lagged panel models to differentiate covariance at the level of constant between-person differences from dynamic processes that occurred within persons. At the level of constant between-person differences, higher neuroticism was associated with more negative daily experiences. At the within-person level, yearly changes in neuroticism were bidirectionally and positively associated with yearly changes in daily negative affect. The most parsimonious, best fitting models did not contain a random intercept for daily conflict with friend and adolescents' contingency between daily experiences of conflict with mother and negative affect. Rank-order differences in these variables were positively associated with subsequent within-person changes in neuroticism. We discuss these results with regard to endogenous versus dynamic theories of personality development and the value of using a differentiated statistical approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-363
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • AGE
  • adolescence
  • experience sampling
  • negative affect
  • neuroticism
  • relationship conflict

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