Big Five Personality And Adolescents Daily Development Psychology Essay

According to J. Belsky’s (1984) process model of parenting, both adolescents’ and parents’ personality should exert a significant impact on the quality of their mutual relationship. Using multi-informant, symmetric data on the Big Five personality traits and the relationship quality of mothers, fathers, and two adolescent children, the current study set out to test this prediction. Adolescents’ agreeableness and parents’ extraversion emerged as predictors of relationship warmth, whereas parents’ openness emerged as a predictor of low restrictive control. In addition, some gender-specific effects emerged. Overall, parents’ and adolescents’ traits equally predicted the amount of relationship warmth, whereas adolescents’ unique personality more strongly predicted the amount of restrictive control. The predictive power of adolescents’ personality increased with age. Personality characteristics that affected relationship quality were partly shared between parents and their adolescent children. Findings support Belsky’s (1984) notion that both parents’ and children’s personality predict the quality of their mutual relationship, though the relative predictive power of children and parents depends on the type of outcome variable and the age of the children. (Denissen, J. J. A., van Aken, M. A. G. & Dubas, J. S. (2009).


According to Schults& Schults (2009), there are 5 factors contained in McCrae and Costa’s big five personality factors. They are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. In short, it can be called OCEAN. Each alphabet represents one factor. According to McCrae and Costa’s theory, a neurotic may show that one is worried, insecure, and nervous. As for extraverts, they may portray that they are sociable, able to mix-around, and talkative. For those who are open to experience, they are creative and daring in pursuing anything that interests them. A person that is agreeable, he or she is basically good-natured, easy-going towards others and softhearted. Lastly, people with conscientiousness portray that they are careful, both reliable and hardworking.

Aim of Research paper

The aim of this paper is to know the big five personality development or five factor models that affects adolescence. Besides that, by using the OCEAN theory, in what way can we understand adolescence? Therefore, we will be studying the big five theory that affects the relationships between adolescence and their parents, exploring how maturity in them (adolescence) affect themselves and the surrounding, and the link between empathy and big 5 links with adolescence. Because of parents are involved in one of the study, we will be exploring a little on big five development have on adults. However, it is important to note that the main focus will be on adolescence.

Empathy and big 5 personality in adolescence

Empathy is associated as tools for controlling aggression in adolescence. In today’s personality research, the five factor model is considered to be dominant, with lots of it being applied. According to the findings obtained, empathy and friendliness has large correlation. In other words, it refers to male and female, boys and girls. There is also positive correlation with conscientiousness, energy, and openness to experience has also been observed.

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There are about 832 children aged between 12-17 years old participated in the study. It was composed of 408 boys and 424 girls. Questionnaires were distributed in the classroom and administered by a certified psychologist. As for the measurements, The Spanish version of Bryant’s empathy Index for children and adolescents and Big Five Questionnaire were given to them. (Barrio, V. D., Anton, A. & Garcia L. F. 2004)

Empathy is strongly linked to Friendliness for boys and girls. So an important

component of the individual differences in the quality of interpersonal behavior

during adolescence is the ability to respond appropriately to others’ emotions.

But also. Empathy could play a minor role in the need for social encounters, the

control of one’s own impulses, and intellectual curiosity. In general, these results reflect the importance of the empathy construct in explaining the self-reported differences

in the Friendliness trait during adolescence. (Barrio, V. D., Anton, A. & Garcia L. F. 2004)

Big Five Personality in Adolescence

Generally, cross-sectional studies revealed that adolescents are higher in Extraversion and Emotional Stability and lower in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness than adults (Costa & McCrae, 1994; McCrae et al., 2000). Between the age of 12 and 18, cross-sectional studies revealed that mean levels of Emotional Stability decrease for girls only (McCrae et al., 2002). Mean levels of Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness do not change (McCrae et al., 2002), although Agreeableness and Conscientiousness have also been found to decrease (Allik, Laidra, Realo, & Pullmann, 2004). Openness was found to increase both cross-sectionally and longitudinally (Allik et al., 2004; McCrae et al., 2002). The consistently found increase in Openness may indicate that adolescents are increasingly appreciating intellectual and creative expressions, or may be related to identity development and exploration of different roles and possibilities. (Branje, S. J. T., Van Lieshout, C. F. M. & Gerris, J. R. M. 2006).

Across adolescence, girls were found to change more often than boys. The expected increase in Openness was found for girls’ self-reported Openness only. Girls also increased in self- and other-reported Conscientiousness and other-reported Agreeableness and Extraversion. In contrast, only three mean changes were found for boys: Other reported Openness and both self- and other-reported Extraversion decreased for boys. During early adolescence, girls undergo a faster acceleration in cerebral cortical development than boys and remain in advance of boys until 14-15 years(Andrich&Styles, 1994; Colom & Lynn, 2004).

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As a result, during early adolescence girls are generally about 2 years ahead of boys in intellectual and social-cognitive functioning (Silberman &Snarey, 1993; Porteous, 1985). These differences might account for earlier development in personality of girls compared to boys, who may catch up with girls from 16 years onwards. The changes in personality may also be related to changes in social expectations regarding education and work or domestic chores. Because girls’ pubertal development occurs earlier than boys (Paikoff & Brooks-Gunn, 1991), they may look more mature and elicit greater expectations from others in these areas than boys.( Branje, S. J. T., Van Lieshout, C. F. M. & Gerris, J. R. M. 2006).

Unexpectedly, we did not find change in Emotional Stability for girls, which might be due to the age range studied: Perhaps Emotional Stability is starting to change in late adolescence only. Also in contrast with our expectations, mean development in

Extraversion was found during adolescence. Both self-reported and other-reported

Extraversion decreased for boys. Whereas girls’ self-reported Extraversion showed an

increase followed by a decrease, girls’ other-reported Extraversion increased over time.

Further research should try to replicate and offer an explanation for this finding. (Branje, S. J. T., Van Lieshout, C. F. M. & Gerris, J. R. M. 2006).

Relationships between Parents and Children ( PCR)

Parents’ extraversion was found to be positively associated with PCR warmth. This is consistent with previous research (Belsky & Barends, 2002; Metsapelto & Pulkkinen, 2003) and with notions of this trait as tapping into individual differences in positive emotionality. In addition, parental openness was negatively associated with restrictive control. It replicates a finding by Metsapelto and Pulkkinen (2003) and is consistent with scattered evidence indicating a positive association between this trait and PCR quality (Belsky & Barends, 2002). This may reflect the fact that low openness is associated with authoritarian family attitudes calling for “a hierarchical structure in which parents command and children obey” (McCrae, 1996b, p. 329).

With regard to the predictive power of adolescents’ personality traits, we hypothesized that agreeableness and conscientiousness would be associated with higher PCR quality. In line with our prediction based on the notion that agreeableness is involved in individual differences in the tendency to respond cooperatively (vs. selfishly) in resource conflicts, adolescents’ agreeableness emerged as a strong predictor of PCR warmth. Similar associations were also reported by O’Connor and Dvorak (2001), Zhong-Hui et

al. (2006), and (on the basis of the current data set) Branje et al. (2004, 2005).

Adolescents’ conscientiousness, on the other hand, was only marginally significantly related to lower levels of restrictive control, which only partially supports our hypothesis based on the notion that this trait is involved in individual differences in self-regulation (Caspi, 1998). It should be noted, however, that the strength of the association between this personality factor and PCR quality increased with age (see below), supporting the idea that older children, who are increasingly able to regulate their own behavior, face less restrictive control by their parents.


In conclusion, big five personality affects adolescents daily development and it will portray on the way they behave daily. For boys, extraversion and openness decreased during their age. Therefore, they may not be so keen to explore something that is new and excited. Whereas for girls, their characteristic of extraversion, agreeableness, openness and conscientiousness increased. This would mean that they may want or crave for excitements and could probably get along well with others. As for Parents-child relationship, parents extraversion approach will cause a warmth PCR. Those ( parents) who have a low ‘openness to experience’ approach/ attitude is more likely to practice authoritarian rules where parents order and children follow. This will definitely damage the relationship between them. Adolescennts will have higher score on agreeableness as they age due to their maturity and ability to behave and also their willingness to find a solution to any conflict that occurred in PCR.


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