Is personality stable and symptoms fleeting? A longitudinal comparison in adolescence


Few investigations have directly compared personality and internalizing symptoms stability within the same sample and have not included personality facets. This study examined rank-order stability and mean-level change of Big Five domains, facets of neuroticism and extraversion, and internalizing symptoms in a sample of 550 adolescent females. Personality and symptoms were assessed every nine months for three years. Three year rankorder stability was higher for personality domains and facets compared to symptoms. Notable exceptions included lower stability of depressivity and positive emotionality facets. Facets and symptoms showed similar mean level change. Overall, we observed modest and variable temporal differences between symptoms and traits; symptoms exhibited high rank-order stability and low mean-level change, but domains and facets were generally more stable.

In Journal of Research in Personality
Daniel M. Mackin, Ph.D.
Daniel M. Mackin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow in Biomedical Data Science

Psychologist and data scientist interested in the intersection of technology and mental health. I apply traditional and advanced quantitative methods to understand the development and course of psychopathology.