We examined change and stability of the 3 personality types identified by Block and Block (1980) and studied their links with adjustment and relationships. We used data from a 5-wave study of 923 early-to-middle and 390 middle-to-late adolescents, thereby covering the ages of 12–20 years. In Study 1, systematic evidence for personality change was found, in that the number of overcontrollers and undercontrollers decreased, whereas the number of resilients increased. Undercontrol, in particular, was found to peak in early-to-middle adolescence. We also found substantial stability of personality types, because 73.5% of the adolescents had the same personality type across the 5 waves. Personality change was mainly characterized by 2 transitions: overcontrol 3 resiliency and undercontrol 3 resiliency. The transitional analyses implied that the resilient type serves more often as the end point of personality development in adolescence than do overcontrol and undercontrol. Analyses of the personality type trajectories also revealed that the majority of adolescents who change personality type across 5 years made only 1 transition. Study 2 revealed systematic differences between resilients and overcontrollers in anxiety. Stable resilients were less anxious over time than were stable overcontrollers. Further, change from overcontrol to the resilient type was accompanied by decreases in anxiety, whereas change from the resilient type to overcontrol was accompanied by an increase in anxiety. Similarly, systematic differences between personality types were found in the formation of intimate relationships.

Meeus, W., Van de Schoot, R., Klimstra, T., & Branje, S. (2011). Personality Types in Adolescence: Change and stability and Links With Adjustment and Relationships: A Five-Wave Longitudinal Study. Developmental Psychology, 47(4), 1181–1195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0023816

In the article, the BFs (Bayes factors) as reported for H1.1 in Table 2 should have been BF2,1 5979.90 and BF2,unc 5.97. The PMP (posterior model probability) values of M1, M2, and M3 remain exactly the same as in the published paper: < .001, .99 and < .001, respectively. The conclusions from the analysis do not change because of the corrected results.

Wim Meeus
Professor Adolescent Psychology
Wim specializes in longitudinal adolescent studies, particularly regarding the development of personality and identity, personal relations and problematic behavior.
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