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J Pers. 2012 Aug;80(4):847-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00748.x. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

The hierarchical structure of childhood personality in five countries: continuity from early childhood to early adolescence.

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Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA.


Childhood personality is a rapidly growing area of investigation within individual differences research. One understudied topic is the universality of the hierarchical structure of childhood personality. In the present investigation, parents rated the personality characteristics of 3,751 children from 5 countries and 4 age groups. The hierarchical structure of childhood personality was examined for 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-factor models across country (Canada, China, Greece, Russia, and the United States) and age group (3-5, 6-8, 9-11, and 12-14 years of age). Many similarities were noted across both country and age. The Five-Factor Model was salient beginning in early childhood (ages 3-5). Deviations across groups and from adult findings are noted, including the prominent role of antagonism in childhood personality and the high covariation between Conscientiousness and intellect. Future directions, including the need for more explicit attempts to merge temperament and personality models, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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