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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2007 Mar;33(3):368-83.

The importance of conscientiousness in adolescent interpersonal relationships.

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  • 1University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas 76019-0528, USA.


This research examined how conscientiousness contributes to adolescents' positive peer relationships and vulnerability to poorer ones. Given its temperamental origins in effortful control, conscientiousness was expected to be particularly important. A total of 256 fifth to eighth graders completed personality, peer-relationship, and victimization measures. Peers, parents, and teachers also completed assessments. Adolescents higher on conscientiousness experienced less victimization, better quality friendships, and higher peer acceptance even after controlling for the other Big Five dimensions. Externalizing and/or attention problems mediated the link between conscientiousness and peer relations. Conscientiousness moderated the relation between internalizing problems and poor interpersonal functioning. Results suggest that self-control processes associated with conscientiousness are important in developing and maintaining relationships in adolescence.

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