Adolescents’ Temperament and Character: A Longitudinal Study on Happiness
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Personality is considered a major determinant of adults and adolescents Subjective Well-Being (SWB); mainly due to its relation to emotional reactivity, emotional intensity, and to the duration of emotional reactions. However, personality as presented above involves almost only differences in automatic emotional reactions and habits (i.e., temperament). Nevertheless, temperament together with learning experiences from different life events is responsible for what people make of themselves intentionally (i.e., character). The present study examines the relation between temperament and character to SWB at two points in time over a year in an adolescent sample (N = 109). Adolescents reported personality (The Temperament and Character Inventory; TCI) and SWB at the beginning of the school year (T1). Subjective Well-Being was then again measured at the end of the school year (T2). Temperament (Harm Avoidance and Novelty Seeking) and character (Self-Directedness) predicted SWB at T1. However, only Self-Directedness predicted SWB at T2 and also small but significant changes in SWB at the end of the school year. The inclusion of character in SWB research is discussed.
KeywordsAdolescents Character Cloninger’s psychobiological model of personality Happiness Subjective well-being Temperament and character inventory Temperament
As the first author I would like to convey my gratitude to the Adlerbert Research Foundation for supporting the writing of the present article. I would also like to thank Professor Robert Cloninger at Washington University in St. Louis, Sören Sigvardsson at Umeå University, Sven Brändström, Anver Siddiqui, and Professor Trevor Archer at University of Gothenburg for their most valued help with the Temperament and Character Inventory and comments on this paper. Last but not least I would like to direct my appreciation to Kristiina Möller at Linnaeus University for her important comments and helpful suggestions on the first draft of the present article. Both authors would like to thank the participants who made the study possible, the reviewers who helped to improve the original manuscript, and to Dr. Antonella Delle Fave for her encouraging words and open-mindedness.
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