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Abstract

165 males and 155 females (87 per cent of the sample, N = 369, first studied at age 8) were retrieved after 18 years, at the age of 26, in the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Social Development. A mailed questionnaire, personality inventories, and criminal records were used in the analysis of adult life-styles. Continuity in social behaviour from the age of 8 to 20 was studied earlier (Pulkkinen, 1982) within a two-dimensional model of impulse control defined by Social Activity vs. Passivity and Strength vs. Weakness of Self-control. The present results showed that developmental trajectories for weak and strong self-control obtained at the earlier stages were continued in young adulthood. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the dimensions of young adults' life-styles were formed both by the timing of entry into family roles and by differences in activities and opinions independent of it. For the latter, two dimensions of adult life-styles were extracted in the confirmatory analysis for the two-dimensional structure of uncontrolled activity vs. controlled passivity and controlled activity vs. uncontrolled passivity: Relapse vs. Restraint and Resilience vs. Resentment. Their strongest predictors were the Reveller vs. Loner and the Striver vs. Loser life-styles, in the respective order, obtained in late adolescence.