Early childhood social responsiveness predicts the general factor of personality in early adolescence

Curtis S. Dunkel, Dimitri van der Linden, Tetsuya Kawamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Positively valenced personality traits are positively correlated, forming a general factor of personality or GFP. A leading interpretation of the GFP is that it reflects social effectiveness. Accordingly, the GFP has been associated with positive social outcomes in adolescence. Yet little is known about its developmental origins. Given that the GFP is partially heritable, it was hypothesized that childhood social engagement would predict the GFP in early adolescence. Archived data from the Colorado Adoption Project were used to test this hypothesis. Using combinations of self and other ratings of personality, and adopting a range of different statistical techniques, confirmed that responsiveness to and fear of (inversely) strangers during the first 4 years of age predicted the GFP at age 12. Future research examining the possible developmental origins of the GFP is prescribed. Highlights: Can the general factor of personality be predicted by early childhood temperament? Sociability toward strangers in the first four years was associated with the general factor of personality in early adolescence. The results point to the foundations of the general factor of personality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2123
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes


  • general factor of personality
  • longitudinal
  • personality ratings
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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