Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Sociology and Anthropology
Rand D. Conger
Research evidence has indicated significant change in personality traits during the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood. Life experiences, particularly those involved in work, school, interpersonal relationships, positive and negative life events, and risky behavior are seen as having the potential to evoke personality change. The influence of these life experiences may also be contingent on the personality dispositions that persons bring to the change situation themselves. Based on this view, we proposed that personality characteristics at adolescence would help shape life experiences during early adulthood which, in turn, would lead to further growth, stability, or regression on these personality traits. Consistent with most previous research, our results indicate that personality traits reported by both self and others (parents, spouses/partners, boyfriend or girlfriends, or friends) change significantly during the period of late adolescence to early adulthood. Consistent with our reciprocal hypothesis, the results also indicate that early personality traits are significantly related to an array of life experiences, which, in turn, are associated with increases or decreases in specific personality traits over time. However, these results may differ depending on who reports respondent personality. In addition, the results also indicate that different domains of personality influence or are affected by different domains of life experiences.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Sun, Yumei, "Mutual influences of personality and life experiences during the transition to adulthood " (2001). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 677.