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A motivational framework of personality development in late adulthood


Bleidorn, Wiebke; Hopwood, Christopher J (2024). A motivational framework of personality development in late adulthood. Current Opinion in Psychology, 55:101731.

Abstract

Meta-analytic evidence shows that most personality traits tend to increase through early adulthood and middle age but decrease in late adulthood, whereas Emotional Stability continues to increase throughout late adulthood. We propose that these normative patterns of personality development can be explained by motivational theories of aging. Specifically, decreases in Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience may reflect a reduced capacity to control one's environment, whereas continued increases in Emotional Stability reflect increases in individual's ability to compensate and cope with age-graded losses. Pairing motivational theories of aging with longitudinal evidence in personality science provides an explanation for empirical patterns of personality trait development and raises interesting possibilities to promote healthy aging.

Abstract

Meta-analytic evidence shows that most personality traits tend to increase through early adulthood and middle age but decrease in late adulthood, whereas Emotional Stability continues to increase throughout late adulthood. We propose that these normative patterns of personality development can be explained by motivational theories of aging. Specifically, decreases in Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience may reflect a reduced capacity to control one's environment, whereas continued increases in Emotional Stability reflect increases in individual's ability to compensate and cope with age-graded losses. Pairing motivational theories of aging with longitudinal evidence in personality science provides an explanation for empirical patterns of personality trait development and raises interesting possibilities to promote healthy aging.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Personality, Big five, Aging, Late adulthood, Primary control, Secondary control
Language:English
Date:1 February 2024
Deposited On:08 Jan 2024 13:39
Last Modified:31 Mar 2024 01:37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2352-250X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2023.101731
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)