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Psychol Bull. 2000 Jan;126(1):3-25.

The rank-order consistency of personality traits from childhood to old age: a quantitative review of longitudinal studies.

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Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, USA.


The present study used meta-analytic techniques to test whether trait consistency maximizes and stabilizes at a specific period in the life course. From 152 longitudinal studies, 3,217 test-retest correlation coefficients were compiled. Meta-analytic estimates of mean population test-retest correlation coefficients showed that trait consistency increased from .31 in childhood to .54 during the college years, to .64 at age 30, and then reached a plateau around .74 between ages 50 and 70 when time interval was held constant at 6.7 years. Analysis of moderators of consistency showed that the longitudinal time interval had a negative relation to trait consistency and that temperament dimensions were less consistent than adult personality traits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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