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The link between personality, global, and domain-specific satisfaction across the adult lifespan


Olaru, Gabriel; van Scheppingen, Manon A; Bleidorn, Wiebke; Denissen, Jaap J A (2023). The link between personality, global, and domain-specific satisfaction across the adult lifespan. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 125(3):590-606.

Abstract

Meta-analytic evidence has shown that personality is one of the strongest correlates of global and domain-specific satisfaction. The main goal of the present study was to examine whether the associations between personality traits and satisfaction differ across the adult lifespan. We used bivariate latent growth curve models and local structural equation modeling to study correlations between levels and change of Big Five personality traits and satisfaction with life, satisfaction with work, and satisfaction with social contacts. Data came from a large representative longitudinal Dutch sample (N = 9,110; age range 16–95). Across age, emotional stability showed the strongest associations with both global and domain-specific satisfaction. After emotional stability, conscientiousness was the strongest correlate of work satisfaction (WS), and extraversion and agreeableness were the strongest correlates of social satisfaction (SS). Longitudinal changes in personality and satisfaction across the 11 years covered in this study were moderately correlated, suggesting codevelopment between these constructs. Most correlational patterns were stable across the lifespan, indicating that personality traits are similarly relevant for satisfaction across different phases in adult life. We discuss the theoretical implications for the foundations that may underlie the link between personality and satisfaction in various life phases.

Abstract

Meta-analytic evidence has shown that personality is one of the strongest correlates of global and domain-specific satisfaction. The main goal of the present study was to examine whether the associations between personality traits and satisfaction differ across the adult lifespan. We used bivariate latent growth curve models and local structural equation modeling to study correlations between levels and change of Big Five personality traits and satisfaction with life, satisfaction with work, and satisfaction with social contacts. Data came from a large representative longitudinal Dutch sample (N = 9,110; age range 16–95). Across age, emotional stability showed the strongest associations with both global and domain-specific satisfaction. After emotional stability, conscientiousness was the strongest correlate of work satisfaction (WS), and extraversion and agreeableness were the strongest correlates of social satisfaction (SS). Longitudinal changes in personality and satisfaction across the 11 years covered in this study were moderately correlated, suggesting codevelopment between these constructs. Most correlational patterns were stable across the lifespan, indicating that personality traits are similarly relevant for satisfaction across different phases in adult life. We discuss the theoretical implications for the foundations that may underlie the link between personality and satisfaction in various life phases.

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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
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:personality, life satisfaction, age differences, correlated change, local structural equation modeling
Language:English
Date:1 September 2023
Deposited On:08 Jan 2024 13:55
Last Modified:31 Mar 2024 01:37
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0022-3514
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000461