Personality development in old age is a largely underexplored area, especially in the ninth decade of life. Lothian Birth Cohorts 1936 and 1921 were used to study the longitudinal stability and change of Five-Factor Model personality traits from ages 69 to 72 years and from ages 81 to 87 years, and cross-cohort stability and mean-level differences between ages 69 and 81 years. Measurements within the FFM framework appeared to be adequately stable both within and across cohorts, and high rank-order stability was observed in both cohorts. Almost no mean-level change was observed in the younger cohort, whereas Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Intellect declined somewhat in the older cohort. The older cohort scored higher in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Modest differences in change trajectories were not significantly associated with cognitive functioning, physical fitness, or independent functioning, or changes in them but were related to changes in emotional distress. We infer that stable individual differences continue to exist in old and very old age along with potentially accelerating mean-level changes. The individual differences in personality development are probably not related to the arguably important aspects of aging per se but rather to people’s attitudes toward and ability to cope with those changes.
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jul 2011|
|Event||International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID 2011) - London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 25 Jul 2011 → 28 Jul 2011
|Conference||International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID 2011)|
|Period||25/07/11 → 28/07/11|