Files in this item



application/pdf3314900.pdf (997kB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Examining the Social Investment Hypothesis: The Relationship of Social Role Investment and Personality Trait Development in Adulthood
Author(s):Smith, Jennifer Lodi
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roberts, Brent W.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:The social investment hypothesis of personality development states that involvement in normative social roles is a critical mechanism of personality trait change in adulthood. The current research examines the importance of social investment as a developmental construct that is reciprocally related to Big Five personality traits over time. Investments in work, family, and community roles were examined in a longitudinal study of a randomly selected, age-stratified sample of 312 Illinois residents age 19 to 86. Social investments were age-graded, in keeping with social clock norms. In addition, social investments were developmentally related to the personality traits known to increase over the life span---conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability. For example, while the specific patterns varied between age groups, investment in family and community roles was concurrently related to conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability across adulthood during the first wave of assessment. In addition, for middle aged participants, investment in work concurrently related to both conscientiousness and emotional stability during Wave 1. Cross-lagged models showed that, during midlife and older adulthood, personality traits influenced change in social investment over time such that personality traits during Wave 1 predicted changes in social investment over the two waves of assessment. Such patterns were two-fold. In some instances, especially during older adulthood, personality traits predicted increases in social investments in a variety of domains. However, during midlife, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability predicted declines in social investment especially for religious roles. Cross-lagged models also showed that social investment influenced change in personality traits during middle age and older adulthood such that Wave 1 investments predicted changes in traits over the two waves of assessment. For example, during middle age, investment in relationships predicted increases in agreeableness. Similarly, in older adults, investments in relationships, religion, and overall investment predicted increasing conscientiousness. Similar patterns were found within other investment-trait combinations. Finally, cross-lagged models showed correlated changes in social investment and personality traits across the two waves of assessment. As with the concurrent relationships, these patterns varied somewhat with age group. A general pattern was present across all three age groups such that normative patterns of change corresponded to increasing conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability. These patterns revealed a complex interplay to how social relationships and personality traits correspondingly develop over time, highlighting important life-span experiences from establishing adult roles to caregiving and widowhood.
Issue Date:2008
Description:96 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3314900
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics