ERIC Number: ED240447
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Consistency of Personal and Intellectual Characteristics over Half a Century.
Field, Dorothy; Weishaus, Sylvia
Although the consistency of personality characteristics has been identified in groups of persons studied from infancy into young adulthood, few such studies have been able to include older adults. To investigate the stability of personality and social characteristics among young-old and old-old adults, 72 adults (51 female, 21 male) from the Berkeley Older Generation Study group were rated on 21 personal-social characteristics through intensive interviews. The subjects were initially interviewed using these characteristics in 1928 (young adults), again in 1968 (young-old adults) and in 1982 (old-old adults, with an age range of 73 to 93 years). In 1982, the mean Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale IQ for the group was 119. An analysis of the results showed a considerable amount of stability across the 50-year time span, particularly for cognitive characteristics. Intelligence, accuracy of thinking, poise, and talkativeness maintained strong and significant correlations for both men and women across time. In addition, both men and women became less restless, less critical, less worrisome, less excitable, more interested in their children, and had an increased sense of self-esteem in the transition from young-old to old-old age. In cognitive variables and life satisfaction, men tended to score higher than women, while women tended to score higher than men in personal-social characteristics. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Berkeley Older Generation Study; Stability (Personal)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (Munich, West Germany, July 31-August 4, 1983).