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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996 Jan;70(1):157-71.

Resilient, overcontrolled, and undercontrolled boys: three replicable personality types.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Three replicable personality types were identified in a sample of 300 adolescent boys and shown to generalize across African Americans and Caucasians. The types had conceptually coherent relations with the Big Five dimensions, ego resiliency, and ego control, and converged with three of the types identified by J. Block (1971). The behavioral implications of the types were explored using several independent data sources. Resilients were intelligent, successful in school, unlikely to be delinquents, and relatively free of psychopathology; Overcontrollers shared some of these characteristics but were also prone to internalizing problems; and Undercontrollers showed a general pattern of academic, behavioral, and emotional problems. This research demonstrates that replicable and generalizable personality types can be identified empirically, and that the unique constellation of traits defining an individual has important consequences for a wide range of outcomes.

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