Personality Traits in Childhood and Adolescence: Structure, Development, and Outcomes

Christopher J. Soto*, Jennifer L. Tackett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Like adults, children and adolescents can be described in terms of personality traits: characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We review recent research examining how youths’ specific behavioral tendencies cohere into broader traits, how these traits develop across childhood and adolescence, and how they relate to important biological, social, and health outcomes. We conclude that there are both key similarities and key differences between youth and adult personality traits, that youths’ personality traits help shape the course of their lives, and that a full understanding of youth personality traits will require additional research at the intersection of personality, developmental, and clinical psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-362
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • adolescence
  • childhood
  • life outcomes
  • personality development
  • personality structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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