Special section on personality development: Testing environmental and genetic associations across generations.

Katherine Jewsbury Conger, Tricia K. Neppl, Laura Scaramella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This special section focuses on the life-course development of positive and negative personality traits and their consequences. Specifically, we pose four research questions inspired by the special section in Developmental Psychology on Conscientiousness (Reiss, Eccles, & Nielsen, 2014). The current set of articles extends the examination of the positive effects of Conscientiousness on individual well-being by also considering the potentially disruptive effects of specific negative personality traits (alienation and low sense of well-being). Our four questions are as follows. Question 1: what are the correlates of Conscientiousness and negative personality traits in terms of family processes? Question 2: to what degree do Conscientiousness and negative traits operate in a transactional process with the social and economic environment to amplify or suppress these characteristics? Question 3: how do individual personality characteristics affect specific behaviors and interactions within lived-environments to impact later well-being and life outcomes? Question 4: is there evidence that particular genetic characteristics affect connections between personality and its antecedents or consequences? One unique aspect of the present special section is that we address these issues across time utilizing prospective, longitudinal data provided by over 2,400 individual family members participating in the Family Transitions Project (FTP). This introductory article outlines the goals of the special section, and presents the background and development of the FTP, a longitudinal, multigenerational research project which provides the data for the four empirical articles in the special section. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • family process
  • genetic characteristics
  • multiple generations
  • personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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