Children's behavioral styles at age 3 are linked to their adult personality traits at age 26.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We observed 1,000 3-year-old children who exhibited five temperament types: Undercontrolled, Inhibited, Confident, Reserved, and Well-adjusted. Twenty-three years later, we reexamined 96% of the children as adults, using multiple methods of comprehensive personality assessment, including both self- and informant-reports. These longitudinal data provide the longest and strongest evidence to date that children's early-emerging behavioral styles can foretell their characteristic behaviors, thoughts, and feelings as adults, pointing to the foundations of the human personality in the early years of life.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caspi, A; Harrington, H; Milne, B; Amell, JW; Theodore, RF; Moffitt, TE

Published Date

  • August 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 495 - 513

PubMed ID

  • 12901429

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-6494

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1467-6494.7104001


  • eng