Personality development: stability and change

Annu Rev Psychol. 2005:56:453-84. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141913.


In this review, we evaluate four topics in the study of personality development where discernible progress has been made since 1995 (the last time the area of personality development was reviewed in this series). We (a) evaluate research about the structure of personality in childhood and in adulthood, with special attention to possible developmental changes in the lower-order components of broad traits; (b) summarize new directions in behavioral genetic studies of personality; (c) synthesize evidence from longitudinal studies to pinpoint where and when in the life course personality change is most likely to occur; and (d) document which personality traits influence social relationships, status attainment, and health, and the mechanisms by which these personality effects come about. In each of these four areas, we note gaps and identify priorities for further research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Environment
  • Genetics, Behavioral
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Parenting
  • Personality Development*
  • Social Behavior