Perceived Social Support and Big Five Personality Traits in Middle Adulthood: a 4-Year Cross-Lagged Path Analysis
Previous studies have shown that the Big Five personality traits are significantly associated with perceived social support and these associations are positively associated with agreeableness, extraversion, and emotional stability. However, it is not yet clear whether these associations hold longitudinally or how these variables may predict each other over time. To investigate the co-development of personality traits and perceived social support, a cross-lagged path model design was used on a sample of adults (N = 1309) measured on two occasions 4 years apart. The results indicated that while emotional stability predicted perceived social support 4 years later, perceived social support also predicted emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness 4 years later. Our findings suggest that perceived social support may be a resource that has an impact on the development of personality traits known to be associated with social skills as well as the quality and frequency of social interactions in middle adulthood.
KeywordsPersonality traits Big five Perceived social support Middle adulthood
Authors’ contribution benefited from the support of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES – Overcoming vulnerability: Life course perspective, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant number: 51NF40–160,590).
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