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Title:The assessment and heritability of a brief measure of agency
Author(s):Junkins, Eleanor J
Advisor(s):Derringer, Jaime
Contributor(s):Briley, Daniel A
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):personality traits
Big Five
twin study
Abstract:This paper seeks to describe the trait Agency in the MIDUS wave 1 non-twin sample (N = 5,194). Then, replicate the findings in the twin sample (N = 1,914), and further extend the descriptive analyses by using genetic modeling in twins. Agency is a gendered construct used as an organizing framework in social, clinical, and other research areas. On the other hand, the Five-Factor model dominates personality research. A few studies have explicitly compared the personality approaches; however, none were found that address Agency in the current representative sample of midlife in the US. Study 1 and 2 show mean-level differences between men and women exist. Factor scores were used to examine correlations between Agency and Generativity and the Big Five traits (0.11 < |r| < 0.53). Openness and Extraversion were the strongest correlates of Agency, followed by Conscientiousness and Generativity. Regression analysis shows approximately 37% of the variance in Agency is accounted for by the Big Five traits. Genetic analyses in Study 2 show Agency is 44.9% heritable (attributable to genetic influences). Bivariate genetic models show the extent to which covariance between each variable is attributable to genetic influences and environmental influences. The results for overlapping genetic influences between Agency and the select variables were: Openness 19.7%, Extraversion 20%, Generativity 12.2%, Conscientiousness 15.1%, Agreeableness 8.9%, and Neuroticism 2%. In combination, multivariate genetic analysis shows after taking into account the Big Five traits simultaneously there is unique genetic influences (5.9%) and nonshared environmental influences (43.6%) uniquely attributable to Agency. Thus, the current brief assessment of Agency shows gender differences unattributable to measurement invariance and similar patterns of associations with Generativity and the Big Five across two samples.
Issue Date:2020-12-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Eleanor Junkins
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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