Personality Trait Changes in Adolescence: A Literature Review



This review summarizes the outcomes of empirical studies on the changes in the average level of the Big Five personality traits over adolescence. Most data indicate that openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion increase in adolescence, while neuroticism decreases. Normative changes in the level of per- sonality traits in this period reflect the development of psychological maturity and adaptation in adolescents and are interlocked with the solution of main developmental tasks of that age. In some cases, though, negative patterns may arise (usually in early and middle adolescence), reflecting the specific difficulties of the adoles- cent years. Normative changes in personality traits are grounded in biological maturation, socialization and contextual factors. Adolescence is a sensitive period for the formation of both adaptive and non-adaptive devel- opmental patterns.

General Information

Keywords: adolescents, personality traits, Big Five, changes in average level, normative changes

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Akhmetova O.A., Slobodskaya E.R. Personality Trait Changes in Adolescence: A Literature Review. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 36–43. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga A. Akhmetova, Researcher at the Scientific Research Institute of Physiology, Siberean Department of Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia, e-mail:

Elena R. Slobodskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Chief Researcher, Federal StateBbudgetary Scientific Institution "Research Institute of Physiology and Fundamental Medicine", Novosibirsk, Russia, e-mail:



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