Personality Types and Development of Adolescents' Conflict with Friends

Authors


Abstract

This study examined the development of adolescents' conflict frequency and conflict resolution with their best friends, and tested whether adolescents with different personality types differed in these developmental changes from early to middle adolescence. Dutch adolescents (N = 922, 468 boys; Mage = 12.4 years at first wave) annually filled in questionnaires for five consecutive years. Growth modelling revealed that, whereas adolescents' conflict frequency and hostile conflict resolution did not change, positive problem solving, withdrawal, and compliance during conflict with best friends increased from age 12 to 16 years. Adolescents with different personality types differed in the mean levels of conflict frequency and conflict resolution strategies. That is, resilients had less conflict with friends than undercontrollers and overcontrollers. During conflict, resilients used the least hostile conflict resolution and compliance, and employed the most positive problem solving. Undercontrollers adopted the least positive problem solving, and overcontrollers complied and withdrew the most. Using a person-centred approach, three developmental conflict resolution types were identified based on different constellations of the four conflict resolution strategies over time. Adolescents with different personality types had different distributions on the conflict resolution types. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary