Personality Adjustment and Growth as Antecedents and Correlates of Wisdom

  • Personality development has been implicated in theory as one important antecedent to the development of wisdom, but there is very little longitudinal evidence directly relevant to the proposition. This dissertation sets out to investigate the longitudinal relationship between wisdom and two trajectories of positive personality development, personality adjustment and personality growth. The first of three empirical papers establishes partial measurement invariance for unique new Personality Adjustment and Personality Growth scales across adulthood in a longitudinal sample from approximately 34 to 73 years of age. The second paper uses a latent growth curve modeling approach in the same sample to establish trajectories for Personality Adjustment and Growth, and then latent class growth analysis to test for the presence of groups whose personality development paths towards later life wisdom are relatively similar. In the final paper, the same conceptual framework was applied to two adolescent samples to establish pre-adult validity. The key findings were as follows: a) the distinction between personality adjustment and growth is viable and useful throughout adulthood and in adolescence, with a consistent cross-sectional association between personality growth and wisdom; b) there are adolescence-specific features of personality growth and adjustment; and c) there is a longitudinal relationship between early adulthood personality growth and later life wisdom, and a class of people who had high levels of Personality Growth throughout adulthood and increasing levels of Personality Adjustment also had relatively high levels of wisdom at later life. Together, these findings indicate that personality development indeed plays a substantial role in the development of wisdom: As expected, personality growth even in early adulthood is an important antecedent of wisdom development, and personality adjustment has an important role as a scaffold to sustain personality growth.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Alan Law
Referee:Ursula Staudinger, Arvid Kappas, Paul Wink, Klaus Boehnke, Christian Stamov-Rossnagel
Advisor:Ursula Staudinger
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1008125
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2018/06/13
Date of First Publication:2018/07/25
Academic Department:Psychology & Methods
PhD Degree:Psychology
Focus Area:Diversity
Other Countries Involved:United States of America
Call No:2018/15

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