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Trajectories of temperament from late childhood through adolescence and associations with anxiety and depression in young adulthood


Lawson, Katherine M; Bleidorn, Wiebke; Hopwood, Christopher J; Cheng, Rongxin; Robins, Richard W (2023). Trajectories of temperament from late childhood through adolescence and associations with anxiety and depression in young adulthood. European Journal of Personality, 37(6):814-833.

Abstract

Anxiety and depression are pervasive and pernicious mental health problems for young adults. Developmental trajectories of adolescent temperament (Effortful Control, Negative Emotionality, and Positive Emotionality) may help us predict who will experience anxiety/depression during young adulthood. The present study used longitudinal data from a large, community sample of Mexican-origin youth ( N = 674) to examine how temperament develops across adolescence (age 10–16) and whether the developmental trajectories of temperament are associated with anxiety/depression during young adulthood (ages 19 and 21). Results indicate that Effortful Control, Negatively Emotionality, and the Affiliation facet of Positive Emotionality tend to decrease across adolescence, whereas Surgency tends to increase. Smaller decreases in Effortful Control and greater increases in Positive Emotionality across adolescence were associated with fewer anxiety/depression symptoms during young adulthood, whereas smaller decreases in Negative Emotionality were associated with more anxiety/depression symptoms later on. Thus, temperament development serves as both a protective factor (Effortful Control, Positive Emotionality) and a risk factor (Negative Emotionality) for later anxiety/depression in Mexican-origin youth.

Abstract

Anxiety and depression are pervasive and pernicious mental health problems for young adults. Developmental trajectories of adolescent temperament (Effortful Control, Negative Emotionality, and Positive Emotionality) may help us predict who will experience anxiety/depression during young adulthood. The present study used longitudinal data from a large, community sample of Mexican-origin youth ( N = 674) to examine how temperament develops across adolescence (age 10–16) and whether the developmental trajectories of temperament are associated with anxiety/depression during young adulthood (ages 19 and 21). Results indicate that Effortful Control, Negatively Emotionality, and the Affiliation facet of Positive Emotionality tend to decrease across adolescence, whereas Surgency tends to increase. Smaller decreases in Effortful Control and greater increases in Positive Emotionality across adolescence were associated with fewer anxiety/depression symptoms during young adulthood, whereas smaller decreases in Negative Emotionality were associated with more anxiety/depression symptoms later on. Thus, temperament development serves as both a protective factor (Effortful Control, Positive Emotionality) and a risk factor (Negative Emotionality) for later anxiety/depression in Mexican-origin youth.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:temperament, development, anxiety, depression, adolescence
Language:English
Date:1 November 2023
Deposited On:08 Jan 2024 13:48
Last Modified:31 Mar 2024 01:37
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0890-2070
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/08902070221124318
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)