ABSTRACT In this article, we argue that the continuity-discontinuity of personality development is not just an empirical issue, but is also a metatheoretical and theoretical issue Stances taken in regard to one of three metatheories (or models)—the orgamsmic, the mechanistic, and the developmental contextual—determine theoretical ideas about (a) the units of analysis thought to be relevant to personality development, (b) the processes believed to govern these units, and (c) whether changes in these units are continuous or discontinuous Theories associated with the models also differ in regard to whether they describe and/or explain intra-individual personality changes as quantitatively or qualitatively continuous or discontinuous Developmental contextual theories seek to identify the orgamsmic and contextual conditions under which any instance of continuity-discontinuity occurs These conditions involve both nomothetic and idiographic processes Organism-context relations must be studied longitudinally in order to understand how these processes function across life