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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2003 May;58(3):P166-76.

Stability and change in adult personality over 6 years: findings from the Victoria Longitudinal Study.

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  • 1Department of Gerontology, University of South Florida, Tampa 33620, USA.


Data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study were used to examine the 6-year longitudinal stability of personality in older adults. Personality was measured with the NEO Personality Inventory. The longitudinal sample consisted of 223 adults initially ranging from 55 to 85 years of age. Longitudinal confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine the stability of individual differences in change over time, and the stability of the longitudinal factor structure. The results indicated both substantial stability at the level of individual differences in change, as well as significant individual differences in change that were related to age and gender. Finally, the factor structure of personality was invariant over time but did not approximate simple structure for the five dimensions of personality. Our study of 6-year personality development provided both (a). a confirmation of early significant stability findings and (b). unique evidence for significant individual differences in late adulthood.

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