Facet-level personality development in the transition to adolescence: Maturity, disruption, and gender differences.

Cassandra M. Brandes*, Shauna C. Kushner, Kathrin Herzhoff, Jennifer L. Tackett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The transition to adolescence is marked by enormous change in social, biological, and personality development. Although accumulating evidence has offered insight into the nature of higher-order personality trait development during this period, much less is known about the development of lower-order personality traits, or “facets.” The current study used a cohort-sequential longitudinal design to examine domain- and facet-level trajectories for mother-reported personality traits during the early adolescent transition. Personality trait domains and facets were assessed with the Inventory of Child Individual Differences–Short Form (Deal, Halverson, Martin, Victor, & Baker, 2007). Participants were 440 children followed at 4 annual timepoints from middle childhood (Mage = 9.97, SD = 0.81) to early adolescence (Mage = 13.11, SD = 0.84). Results of latent growth curve models showed substantial facet-level personality stability in this period, as well as small to moderate linear change in 13 of 15 facets. Gender differences in change were evident for 9 facets. Overall patterns suggested consistent increases in agreeableness facets with null to small gender differences. Neuroticism and openness to experience facet change was heterogeneous within each domain, but patterns were similar for boys and girls. Extraversion primarily decreased, though the magnitude and direction of change differed between facets and genders. Conscientiousness increased across all facets, but only among girls. These findings overall demonstrate a high degree of developmental consistency in facets within each domain as well as some notable differences. Further, this study contributes to a small and somewhat mixed evidence base for current theories of adolescent personality development. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
StatePublished - 2020


  • adolescence
  • change
  • facets
  • personality development
  • stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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