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TitleRELATIONSHIPS AND PERSONALITY TRAIT LEVELS AND CHANGE IN ADULTHOOD by ...
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conscientious, and married participants who were more invested in their spouse were

more agreeable, conscientious, and less neurotic), investment had no effect on personality

trait change. Further, occupying a role (e.g., being a parent vs. not) showed more

associations with personality trait change than investment in the role did. These findings

are in direct opposition of what social investment theory predicts.

While the results of this dissertation suggest that investment in or commitment to

a role is not a predictor of personality change in general, and specifically personality

change towards greater maturity, there are several reasons why an association may not

have been observed. First, an alternative modeling approach might have revealed

something more. For example, a preferred approach may have been bivariate growth

curve modeling (or correlated change), in which the relationship between changes in

investment and changes in personality over time is estimated. However, we decided

against this approach because both investment measures showed high levels of stability

over time. That is, if a participant said they were strongly invested in their children at one

time, they tended to be strongly invested at all other times. Second, it is possible that

investment in the roles we occupy has its greatest effect on personality change leading up

to or directly after the occurrence of a major life event. For example, anticipatory change

in personality leading up to major life events (e.g., childbirth) does occur (Luhmann et

al., 2014). Among soon-to-be parents, those that are strongly invested in the idea of

having children may show more changes in personality especially in the direction of

greater maturity. Third, it is possible that people’s own reports of their investment is

biased. An alternative, and perhaps more accurate assessment of a person’s investment,

may be from informants who know the person well. Overall, although this dissertation

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