This work was supported by U.S. Public Health Service grants from the Personality and Social Processes Research Branch (MH-49414 to A. Caspi) and the Antisocial and Violent Behavior Branch (MH-45070 to T. E. Moffitt) of the National Institute of Mental Health, and by the William T. Grant Foundation. The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit is directed by Phil A. Silva and supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. Appreciation is expressed to the interviewers and to the young New Zealanders who are members of the sample.
Temperamental Qualities at Age Three Predict Personality Traits in Young Adulthood: Longitudinal Evidence from a Birth Cohort
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 66, Issue 2, pages 486–498, April 1995
How to Cite
Caspi, A. and Silva, P. A. (1995), Temperamental Qualities at Age Three Predict Personality Traits in Young Adulthood: Longitudinal Evidence from a Birth Cohort. Child Development, 66: 486–498. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00885.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
In an unselected sample of over 800 subjects we studied whether behavioral styles at age 3 are linked to personality traits at age 18. We identified 5 temperament groups (labeled Undercontrolled, Inhibited, Confident, Reserved, and Well-adjusted) based on behavioral ratings made by examiners when the children were 3. These groups were reassessed at 18, and their personality styles were measured with the self-report Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire. Results pointed to continuities across time. As young adults, Undercontrolled children scored high on measures of impulsivity, danger seeking, aggression, and interpersonal alienation; Inhibited children scored low on measures of impulsivity, danger seeking, aggression, and social potency; Confident children scored high on impulsivity; Reserved children scored low on social potency; and Well-adjusted children continued to exhibit normative behaviors.