Terracciano A, McCrae RR, Brant LJ, Costa Jr PT. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses of NEO-PI-R scales in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Psychol Aging 20: 493-506

Laboratory of Personality and Cognition, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Baltimore, MD 21224-6825, USA.
Psychology and Aging (Impact Factor: 2.73). 10/2005; 20(3):493-506. DOI: 10.1037/0882-7974.20.3.493
Source: PubMed


The authors examined age trends in the 5 factors and 30 facets assessed by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory in Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging data (N=1,944; 5,027 assessments) collected between 1989 and 2004. Consistent with cross-sectional results, hierarchical linear modeling analyses showed gradual personality changes in adulthood: a decline in Neuroticism up to age 80, stability and then decline in Extraversion, decline in Openness, increase in Agreeableness, and increase in Conscientiousness up to age 70. Some facets showed different curves from the factor they define. Birth cohort effects were modest, and there were no consistent Gender x Age interactions. Significant nonnormative changes were found for all 5 factors; they were not explained by attrition but might be due to genetic factors, disease, or life experience.

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Available from: Paul Costa, Jan 19, 2014
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    • "It is widely acknowledged that broad traits such as those of the FFM are comprised of at least somewhat distinguishable components such as aspects (DeYoung, Quilty, & Peterson, 2007) or facets (Costa & McCrae, 1992) that reflect additional aspects of personality beyond the extents to which they reflect their respective broad traits (usually interpreted as common causes in these conceptualizations). And indeed, aspects and (especially) facets are often employed when personality–outcome correlations (Roberts, Chernyshenko, Stark, & Goldberg, 2005) or age differences (Terracciano, McCrae, Brant, & Costa, 2005) in personality traits are investigated, although little to no attention is typically paid to the associations at the level of the items that make up the traits, aspects and facets. But even if aspect-level or facet-level associations are reported, the theoretical implications of such analyses for causal interpretations are rarely discussed (one attempt to do this can be found in Judge, Rodell, Klinger,Simon, & Crawford, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Much of personality research attempts to identify causal links between personality traits and various types of outcomes. I argue that causal interpretations require traits to be seen as existentially and holistically real and the associations to be independent of specific ways of operationalizing the traits. Among other things, this means that, to the extents that causality is to be ascribed to such holistic traits, items and facets of those traits should be similarly associated with specific outcomes, except for variability in the degrees to which they reflect the traits (i.e., factor loadings). I argue that, before drawing causal inferences about personality trait-outcome associations, presence of this condition should be routinely tested by, for example, systematically comparing the outcome associations of individual items or facets, or sampling different indicators for measuring the same purported traits. Existing evidence suggests that observed associations between personality traits and outcomes at least sometimes depend on which particular items or facets have been included in trait operationalizations, calling trait-level causal interpretations into question. However, this has rarely been considered in the literature. I argue that when outcome associations are specific to facets, they should not be generalized to traits. Furthermore, when the associations are specific to particular items, they should not even be generalized to facets.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · European Journal of Personality
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    • "In a rigorous study using 6-year data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study, Small et al. (2003) found that age (and also sex) was associated only with increases in neuroticism. Using longer-term (1989–2004) longitudinal data from 1944 participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, Terracciano et al. (2005) found that (1) neuroticism declined up until approximately age 80 and then began to increase again; (2) most facets of extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness declined in later life; and (3) agreeableness generally increased in later life. Not all facets of a factor showed identical patterns of change, however, and differences in change as a function of sex were small. "
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Background/Study Context: We demonstrate that observer-rated factor structure of personality in centenarians is congruent with the normative structure. Prevalence of cognitive impairment, which has previously been linked to changes in personality in younger samples, is high in this age group, requiring observer ratings to obtain valid data in a population-based context. Likewise, the broad range of cognitive functioning necessitates synthesis of results across multiple measures of cognitive performance. Methods and results: Data from 161 participants in the Georgia Centenarian Study (GCS; MAge = 100.3 years, 84% women, 20% African American, 40% community-dwelling, 30% low cognitive functioning) support strong overall correspondence with reference structure (full sample: .94; higher cognitive functioning: .94; lower cognitive functioning: .90). Centenarians with lower cognitive functioning are higher on neuroticism and lower on openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Facet-level differences (higher N1-N6: anxiety, hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsiveness, vulnerability to stress; lower E1: warmth; lower O4-O6: actions, ideas, values; lower A1, A3, A4: trust, altruism, compliance; C1, C5: competence, self-discipline) are also observed. Multivariate factor-level models indicate only neuroticism of the five broad factors predicts membership in cognitively impaired group; facet-level models showed that lower-order scales from three of the five domains were significant. Centenarians with higher self-consciousness (N4), impulsiveness (N5), and deliberation (C6) but lower ideas (O5), compliance (A4), and self-discipline (C5) were more likely to be in the lower cognitive functioning category. Conclusion: Results present first normative population-based data for personality structure in centenarians and offer intriguing possibilities for the role of personality in cognitive impairment centered on neuroticism.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Experimental Aging Research
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    • "The data collected within APPOC were compared with data from two published studies: (a) NEO-PI-R informant ratings of college-age and adult targets from the 50 cultures of the PPOC project (McCrae & Terracciano, 2005a), and (b) NEO-PI-R selfreport data from college-age and adult respondents from 25 cultures (Costa et al., 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although large international studies have found consistent patterns of sex differences in personality traits among adults (i.e., women scoring higher on most facets), less is known about cross-cultural sex differences in adolescent personality and the role of culture and age in shaping them. The present study examines the NEO Personality Inventory-3 (McCrae, Costa, & Martin, 2005) informant ratings of adolescents from 23 cultures (N = 4,850), and investigates culture and age as sources of variability in sex differences of adolescents' personality. The effect for Neuroticism (with females scoring higher than males) begins to take on its adult form around age 14. Girls score higher on Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness at all ages between 12 and 17 years. A more complex pattern emerges for Extraversion and Agreeableness, although by age 17, sex differences for these traits are highly similar to those observed in adulthood. Cross-sectional data suggest that (a) with advancing age, sex differences found in adolescents increasingly converge toward adult patterns with respect to both direction and magnitude; (b) girls display sex-typed personality traits at an earlier age than boys; and (c) the emergence of sex differences was similar across cultures. Practical implications of the present findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
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