Personality Traits, Interpersonal Identity, and Relationship Stability: Longitudinal Linkages in Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood
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Adolescence and young adulthood are characterized by important changes in personality, changes toward a more stable identity, and the establishment of intimate relationships. We examined the role of personality traits in establishing intimate relationships, the interplay between personality traits and interpersonal identity processes during these relationships, and the role of interpersonal identity processes and personality traits in the dissolution thereof. For this purpose, we used longitudinal data on 424 female college students (mean age at T1 = 18.6 years; Sample 1) and 390 late adolescents drawn from a community sample (56.7 % female; mean age at T1 = 19.7 years; Sample 2). Especially highly extraverted individuals were likely to become involved in a relationship. Neuroticism was associated negatively, and Agreeableness and Conscientiousness were associated positively with a stronger sense of interpersonal identity within intimate relationships. Finally, the importance of interpersonal identity processes was underscored by the fact that these processes, and not so much personality traits, predicted relational breakups. Overall, the present study provides important insights into the role of personality and identity in the initiation, maintenance, and dissolution of intimate relationships in late adolescence and young adulthood.
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- Personality Traits, Interpersonal Identity, and Relationship Stability: Longitudinal Linkages in Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume 42, Issue 11 , pp 1661-1673
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- Springer US
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- Identity formation
- Big five
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Developmental and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, Postbus 90153, 5000 LE, Tilburg, The Netherlands
- 2. School Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development, Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
- 3. Research Centre Adolescent Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands