Middle childhood is a crucial juncture in the lifespan where children work toward achieving a sense of competence foundational for future development. However, middle childhood has historically been underrepresented in the personality literature. The current study provides a comprehensive examination of personality in middle childhood using a large (N = 2510), longitudinal sample of 10- to 12-year-old twins. The structure, heritability, and correlates of personality in this period were investigated using personality ratings of parents, teachers, and children. Results showed that personality in middle childhood has a coherent structure, is heritable, and is relevant for developmentally salient outcomes such as externalizing behavior, substance use, and academic engagement. Results emphasize the importance of investigating personality in middle childhood across multiple informants.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by United States Public Health Service grants R37 DA005147 (Iacono), R01 DA013240 (Iacono), R01 DA034606 (Hicks), and R01 DA039112 (Durbin) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism R01 AA09367 (McGue).
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.
- Middle childhood
- Multiple informants
- Personality heritability
- Personality outcomes
- Personality structure