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Abstract

This review offers a theoretical and practical guide to assessing a broad range of personality differences in middle childhood and adolescence. We begin by highlighting normative changes in middle childhood and adolescence that shape the personality differences youth display. We then review the assessment of four broad domains of personality in children and adolescents: temperament and personality traits, social-emotional-behavioral (SEB) skills, motivation and agency (including goals, values, and interests), and narrative identity. We conclude by offering a primer of general principles for assessing personality in childhood and adolescence: pursuing ongoing construct validation, weighing strengths and weaknesses of various informants and data sources, combining measures, addressing heterotypic continuity, obtaining child self-reports, and pursuing promising new directions. It is well worth taking on the challenges inherent in assessing these individual differences because children and adolescents display a rich, complex, and meaningful set of still-changing personality differences that shape the course of their lives.

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2021-12-09
2024-04-13
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