Adolescent Personality as a Prospective Predictor of Parenting: An Interactionist Perspective

Christopher J. Trentacosta, Tricia K. Neppl, M. Brent Donnellan, Laura V. Scaramella, Daniel S. Shaw, Rand D. Conger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study examined personality during adolescence as a predictor of later parenting of toddler-aged offspring. On the basis of empirical research on the timing of parenthood and the interactionist model (Conger & Donnellan, 2007), we examined age at parenthood and family socioeconomic status (SES) as mediators of the relation between personality and parenting. Participants were 228 emerging adults from an ongoing longitudinal study of the transition to adulthood. Later entry into parenthood and higher SES accounted for the association between personality characteristics and lower levels of harsh parenting and higher levels of positive parenting. Consistent with the interactionist model, both personality characteristics and SES-linked variables were related to interpersonal processes in families. The findings suggest that promoting adaptive personality traits during childhood and adolescence may help delay early entry into parenthood, promote higher SES, and, indirectly, foster more positive parenting of young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-730
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Age at parenthood
  • Longitudinal
  • Parenting
  • Personality
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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