Recent Developments in Child Personality Research by e03Yai9i

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									Recent Developments in
Child Personality
Research


           Maja Zupančič
  University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Overview


•   The trait approach, focus on the FFM
•   Search for precursors of the Big Five in childhood
•   A newly developed measure, the ICID
•   Structure of pre-adult personality
•   Cross-cultural, gender and age differences in trait
    expression
•   Aspects of child trait consistency
•   Personality traits in predicting important outcomes
•   Child personality types
•   Other recent measures
•   Future prospects
The Trait Approach


• Traits: Enduring tendencies to feel, think, and act in
  a relatively consistent way over time & across
  contexts (Burger, 2008; Funder, 2001; McCrae & Costa, 2004)
• A relative agreement on the Five-Factor Model
  (FFM) to summarize the organization of adult
  personality traits across countries (e.g., MCrae & Costa, 1997)
• Covers the OCEAN of human personality
• Criticism & limitations (Block, 1995; Eysenck, 1997; Paunonen &
  Jackson, 2000; Saucier & Goldberg, 1998), e.g. developmentally
  shallow (Graziano, 1994)
What about Children?


• Empirical FFM studies: Adults, except Digman (1963,
  1989, 1990; Digman & Inouye, 1986)
• Developmental ψ (Shiner, 2006): Personality
   – Conceptualized with an eye towards adult structure
   – Understood in light of its antecedents
• Do adults perceive children beyond temperament?
  How do adults organize child characteristics?
• Usefulness of the FFM in older children/early
  adolescents, 2 major approaches:
   – Adult FFM measure, adjustment of phrasing, rating
   – FFM scores from measures constructed within an other
     model
Questions on Ecological
Validity


• Items may not represent a full range of
  individual differences
  – Based on measures to assess adults
  – Capture theorists-imposed core constructs
  – May not reflect characteristics salient for
    caregivers/teachers in daily life
• Difficult to deduce from scores:
  – Personality structure reflects child features or
    results from a specific instrument
  – Forced squeezing may obscure age-specific
    features
The 3rd Approach: Free
Descriptive


• Create a lexicon of child personality
  descriptive words (John, 1990):
   – No catalogue on child individual differences
   – Dictionaries reflect passive vocabulary
• Lexical hypothesis: Parental natural language will
  encode child individual differences that are
  significant in daily interaction. The more important
  the feature, the more will be talked about.
How do Caregivers Describe
Children?


• The 3rd approach used within a multi-national
  project (Kohnstamm et al., 1998):
  – Interview caregivers of children ages 3-12
  – B, CHN, D, GR, NL, PL, USA: Increase ecological
    representativeness of the descriptions
  – Parse & code personality descriptors
Coding Manual: The Big 5
(Havill et al., 1994)




   Extraversion          Agreeableness       Conscientiousness

     sociable               amiable                 careful
     dominant              manageable          interdependent
      active                 honest                diligent



Emotional Stability         Openness             + Little 8

      reactive          open to experience
   self-confident           interested
       fearful              intelligent
% of Overall Descriptors in 5
Main Categories: 7 countries
• Across all samples over 86% of descriptors coded into Big 5
  Personality Categories (Kohnstamm et al., 1998)
% of Overall Descriptors in 5
Main Categories: SLO
• Replicated in Slovenia; multiple-informants, extended to
  infants/toddlers (Zupančič, 2001, 2004; Zupančič & Kavčič, 2002)
Parental Natural Language:
Differences & Similarities*


- Remarkable similarities in
   frequency of the descriptors
   across (sub)categories
- Small age, gender, culture
   differences
- FFM-inspired system: A good
   heuristic
- No conclusions on underlying
   strucure



*Kohnstamm et al., 1998; Zupančič, 2004
Parental Language
Questionnaire Development


• New instruments were created in each country for
  separately assessing children age 3, 6, 9 & 12
• Could a cross-age and cross-country questionnaire
  be produced?
   – HiPIC in B (Mervielde & DeFruyt, 2002)
   – Georgia, US: Prototypical items for all (CHN, GR,
     NL, US) age-specific samples, matching the
     distribution of the Big 5 - a preliminary ICID
     (Halverson & Havill, 1997)
   – Independent samples in CHN, GR, US, further
     procedures and refinements
The Inventory of Child
Individual Differences (ICID)*


• Final version: 108 items, the same across
  age and country were retained
• Factor analyses in 3 countries & across age
  revealed 15 mid-level personality scales:
    – Achievement Oriented (‘…has a drive to do better’)
    – Active (‘…is always busy doing something’)
    – Antagonistic (‘…is agressive toward others’)

* Halverson et al., 2003
    The ICID Mid-level Scales
•   Compliant (‘…is obedient’)
•   Considerate (‘…is sensitive to others’ feelings’)
•   Distractible (‘…gets bored easily’)
•   Fearful/Insecure (‘…lacks confidence’)
•   Intelligent (‘…is quick to learn’)
•   Negative Affect (‘…is irritable’)
•   Open to Experience (‘…is interested in new
    things’)
•   Organized (‘…does things carefully and with
    thought’)
•   Positive Emotions (‘…is cheerful’)
•   Shy (‘… is withdrawn’)
•   Sociable (‘…makes friends easily’)
•   Strong Willed (‘…manipulates to get his/her own
    way’)
Properties of the ICID Scales*



• Translated and thoroughly examined in SLO & RUS
• Sound psychometric properties of the 15 scales
  across countries & age:
     – Internal reliability for parent- (CHN, GR, RUS, SLO, US) and &
       self-report (GR, RUS, SLO, US)
     – Inter-rater agreement: Spouses (SLO, US), parent-teacher
       (SLO), parent-self (GR, SLO, US)
     – Short-term stability (US)
     – convergent & discriminant validity (GR, RUS, SLO, US)


* Halverson et al., 2003; Knyazev et al., 2008; Zupančič et al., 2007
The Structure of the ICID*


• Latent dimensions derived from parent report scale
  scores: EFA, factor congruence analyses in CHN (N =
  1060), GR (N = 506), RUS (N = 1636), SLO (N = 1872), US (N
   = 1035)
    – Very similar structure across countries
    – 4 consistent factors: E, A, C, N (coeff. clearly exceed .90)
    – A less stable 5th factor
• Remarkably similar structure:
    – Parent RUS vs. SLO
    – Parent vs. adolescent self-report in RUS (N = 555) & SLO (N =
       420)


* Havill et al., 2003; Knyazev et al., 2008
The Latent Structure: CFA*


• US parent report parent & self (Compliant & Considerate
• RUS & SLO, age,(Compliant omitted):
  dropped):
     –   E (Sociable, Positive Emotions, Active, Considerate & Open)
     –   C (Organized, Achievement, unDistractible)
     –   N (Fearful/insecure, Negative Affect, Shy)
     –   A (Strong Willed-R, Antagonistic-R)
     –   I (Intelligent)
         O (Open to Experience & Intelligent)




* Halverson et al., 2003; Knyazev et al., 2008
Cross-cultural Comparison of
Child Trait Expression


• Characteristic adaptations of individuals may be
  subject to culture, cohort, gender, age (e.g., McCrae &
   Costa, 2004)
• Cross-cultural differences in adult trait expression
  (e.g., McCrae et al., 2005) & child temperament (e.g.,
   Kohnstamm, 1989)
• SLO-RUS*, self- & caregiver reports age 2 to 15
• In all age groups & across methods:
    – SLO > E, C, O (p < .01)

*Knyazev, Zupančič, & Slobodskaya, 2008
ICID-S Big 5 in RUS & SLO: Parent
Report (Slobodskaya & Zupančič, 2008)


                  *            *

                      *




      * p < .01
Cross-sectional: SLO-RUS*



    - Differences even in
       2-3 olds
    - Slight age-increase
    - M magnitude of
       parent (d=.29) vs.
       self-ratings (d=.18)
    - Main effects & culture
       by age interaction

* Knyazev et al., 2008
Gender Differences*


• Across age, informants, countries:
    – Small (SLO, RUS mean ds parent .14, .16)
    – Present even in toddlers, do not conform to the biosocial
      hypotehsis
    – ♀ > C, A, compliant, considerate
    – Smaller based on adolescent self-reports (mean ds SLO,
      RUS .14 & .10, parent .21); parental gender bias?
    – May reflect actual differences, implicit theories &
      expectations, effect of the reference group


* Halverson, 2003; Zupančič, Gril, & Kavčič, 2006; Zupančič & Kavčič, 2005, 2007;
    Zupančič, Knyazev, & Slobodskaya, in press
Age Differences*


• Small age effects - 4 developmental periods:
     – A sistematically ↑, due to ↓ in strong will & antagonism
     – Compliance continual ↑
     – O & Activity peak in early childhood
• Findings on mean level age differences may also
  reflect
     – Parental implicit theories on child development
     – The reference group effect (underestimation)

* Halverson, 2003; Slobodskaya, 2005; Zupančič et al., 2006
SLO Longitudinal Study on
Child Personality*


• 3 aspects of consistency over time & across
  informants
• Data collected: mothers, fathers, (pre)school
  teachers; age 3  4  5  6 (complete data N = 192)
• Structural consistency (PCA, congruence, permutation, SEM):
   – Over 3 yrs, the organization of child personality is
     construed in a similar way by 3 informant groups
   – Minor differences over time across parents
   – Teacher: Less differentiated but temporally stable
* Zupančič & Kavčič, 2007; Zupančič, Sočan, & Kavčič, 2007
SLO Longitudinal Study on
Child Personality*


• Rank-order stability of trait ratings:
    –   Intra-rs over time .50 - .74; increase with age
    –   Inversely related to time interval
    –   Stronger for the same informant over time (same-rater bias)
    –   Some traits more stable than others
         • Observability
         • Change in expectations & standards for assessment
    – Concurrent cross-informant stability; spouses > parent-
      teacher
         • Information & settings
         • Roles & perspectives
         • Levels of communication about child

* Zupančič & Kavčič, 2007; Zupančič, Sočan, & Kavčič, 2007
SLO Longitudinal Study on
Child Personality*


• Mean level continuity of trait scores:
    – ↑ E & C over time (small)
    – ↑ A at the transition to middle childhood (small)
    – Concurs with cross-sectional results
• Change in mean level expression:
    – Maturational processes & environmental influences shared
      by children
    – May be deflated
• Parent ratings > teacher on desirable traits  own
  child enhancement effect

* Zupančič & Kavčič, 2007; Zupančič, Sočan, & Kavčič, 2007
Personality Predicting
Important Child Outcomes


• Social adjustment in (pre)school
  - controlling for the same-rater bias, multiple informants:
   – Social Competence
   – Internalizing/Externalizing Behavior
        •   Concurrently over early childhood & grade 1
        •   Longitudinally: early years  grade 1 (10-25%)
        •   (pre)school personality (up to 40%) > home (app. 10%)
        •   Over & beyond environmantal variables
        •   Differential prediction: C, O  SC; -E, N  IB; -A  EB

* Zupančič & Kavčič, 2007, 2008
Child Personality Predicting
Important Outcomes
• Sibling relationships (diads): Concurrently &
  longitudinally (Kavčič & Zupančič, 2006; Kavčič, Zupančič, & Havill,
   2008)
    – N, -A; younger E & older -A  conflict
    – –A  rivalry/competition
    – O, C  warmth
• Differential parenting: Concurrently & longitudinally
   (Kavčič & Zupančič, 2006, 2007)
    – Less A sib  more control
    – Larger sib A differences  more differential control
• Academic achievement (Marjanovič Umek et al., 2006a; Zupančič
   & Kavčič, 2007, 2008)
    – C, O  G1;  G3
Personality Predicting
Adolescent Outcomes


• Interpersonal Problems (Ingles et al., 2008)
   – N, A, -O, -E  Overall, public speaking, with the
     opposite sex (app. 25% self, 10% parent)
• Internalizing/Externalizing (Slobodskaya, 2005)
• Academic:
   – C  Motivation in a course (20-30% - mastery
     goal)
   – C, O  Self-efficacy (20%; Zupančič & Puklek
     Levpušček, 2005)
   – Achievement (Marjanovič Umek et al., 2006b; Puklek
     Levpušček & Zupančič, in prep)
      G8: Predicting G9 Math Grades                (Puklek
      Levpušček & Zupančič, in press)




 Big Five: R2 = .20***    O
                                     -E
                                            -N
  Motivation – Math:
     R2 = .13***
                               yes                 Math 9
Non-verbal Intelligence:                  yes
      R2 = .11***                               Adj.R2=.43***
      G8: Predicting G9 Math Grades
      (Puklek Levpušček & Zupančič, in press)




Non-verbal Intelligence:
     R2 = .25***               yes

   Motivation - Math:          yes
     R2 = .09***                           Math 9

                                      -N
                                           Adj.R2=.43***
        Big Five:                -E
       R2 = .10***        O
Personality Traits : Types


• Empirical research predominantly treated personality
  from a variable-centered perspective, missing the
  configuration of traits within an individual
• Recent evidence, at least 3 different
  temperament/personality types (fuzzy boarders) in
  adults (Asendorpf et al., 2001; Barbaranelli, 2002; Costa et al.,
  2002; Schnabel & al., 2002) & children (Asendorpf et al., 2001;
   Caspi, 2000; Caspi & Silva, 1995; DeFruyt et al., 2002; Hart et al.,
   1997, 2003)
    – Resilient
    – Undercontrolled
    – Overcontrolled
ICID Personality Types
(Zupančič, Podlesek, & Kavčič, 2006)



• Age 3   (2-step clustering procedure):
  3 internally replicable patterns of parent-perceived
  child trait expression
ICID Personality Types*


 – Both structurally consistent & moderate type
   membership consistency across informants/time
   (1yr)
 – 4  14 yrs: 4 internally replicable ICID types
 – Predictive value  social behavior
 – Head-to-head comparisons: Predictive utility of
   types (9%, no incremental; improved with consistenlty
   classified children) < traits (up to 12% incremental)


 * Zupančič et al., 2006; Zupančič & Gril, 2006; Zupančič & Kavčič,
    2007
Other Recent Measures


• ICID-Short US parent (Deal et al., 2007); SLO & RUS
  parent & self-report (Slobodskaya & Zupančič, 2008)
• HiPIC (Mervielde & De Fruyt, 2002)
• BFQ – Children version (Barbaranelli, Caprara, Rabasca, &
  Pastorelli, 2003)
• BPI Child self-report method (Measelle, John, Ablow,
  Cowan, & Cowan, 2005)
• Observation of RBQ behaviors (Markey, Markey, & Tinsey,
  2005)
Future Prospects



• Develop implicit child measures
• The normalization of the ICID
• Continue exploring personality of children with
  cognitive disability (e.g., Colnerič & Zupančič, 2005):
   – Describe syndrome-specific FFM profile
   – Examine effects of a portfolio intervention
• Investigate the mid-level vs. broad-domain and the
  type-trait issue
• Extend cross-cultural research on development
Explore Sources of Personality
Stability/Change/Prediction


• Genetic
• Intraindividual
   – Other traits
   – Intelligence
   – Adaptations
• Environmental: Family, peer group, (pre)school
• Person-environment transactions: Evocative,
  reactive, proactive, manipulative (e.g., Caspi, 1998, 2000)
• Pathways of linking personality & adaptation: The
  factors that mediate, moderate the links personality –
  life outcomes
 Acknowledgements
The research was carried out in collaboration with
• Tina Kavčič, UL, SLO
• Gregor Sočan, Anja Podlesek, Melita Puklek
  Levpušček, UL, SLO
• Valerie L. Havill, UG, USA
• Helena R. Slobodskaya, Gennady G. Knyazev, SB
  Russian Academy of Science, RUS
• Alenka Gril, ERI, SLO
• Contributors to related SLO research on child
  personality and data collection: L. Marjanovič Umek
  (UL, SLO), D. Boben (CPA), M. Vidmar (ERI, SLO),
  U. Fekonja Peklaj, K. Bajc, B. Bajec (UL, SLO)
• Luka Komidar (UL, SLO), technical assistance

								
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