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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we offer a developmental perspective on temperament and personality traits from early childhood through adulthood. First, we address the relationship between temperament and personality and the methods used to ascertain the structure of traits in these two research traditions. We argue that the temperament and personality traditions provide different ways of describing the same basic traits. Second, we describe the current status of the most prominent temperament models and the Big Five personality trait model. Third, we articulate a structural model that integrates contemporary findings on temperament and personality traits from early childhood through adulthood. Fourth, we discuss current research on the psychological and biological processes that underlie individual differences in the Big Five traits in childhood and adulthood. This is an exciting time in the study of personality development, in part because of the marked progress in uncovering the basic structure of traits across the lifespan.

Keywords: personality development, childhood development, continuity and change, lifespan, temperament, taxonomy, neuroscience, metatraits, measurement, Big Five

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