ERIC Number: ED123501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Personality Development in the Middle Adult Years: A Longitudinal Study.
Livson, Florine B.
Patterns of personality development leading to psychological health at age 50 were compared in 24 women and 21 men, studied longitudinally since adolescence. Personality Q sorts at four ages--early and late teens, ages 40 and 50--were used to assess personality change and overall psychological health. Q sorts were based on extensive data and applied independently at each age level. Among "healthy" men and women at age 50, two patterns of development were identified: (1) A stable pattern consisting of 7 men and 7 women whose health had remained high and stable from ages 40 to 50; (2) An improved pattern consisting of 14 men and 17 women whose health was poor at 40 but improved significantly by 50. Sex differences within each pattern were analyzed in terms of the fit between personality and sex role conformity. Personalities of stable men and women fit traditional sex roles. Traditional men and women moved smoothly into middle age with little change in life style. Personalities of male and female improvers were less congurent with traditional sex roles. Nontraditional men and women supressed cross-sex characteristics in early adulthood but revived these characteristics by age 50 with upsurge in psychological health. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society (28th, Louisville, Kentucky, October 26-30, 1975)