This book reports the first attempt in the child development literature to examine the structure of early personality based on parents' free-descriptions of their children. It is an important piece of research because of its cross-national focus on personality development.
The authors present a data set that reveals considerable consistency in the parental descriptions of child personality in both western and nonwestern countries. This consistency supports the cultural universality of the "Big Five" personality factors. The authors' findings lay the foundation for an examination of how these major dimensions of childhood personality structure evolve into adult personality structure.
"The book may be valuable to graduate students and researchers interested in a psychometric approach to the study of personality development in children."
"If offers both a guidepost and a milestone toward a better understanding of personality development in all its varieties. This is a book well worth reading, studying, and owning."
"Centuries of speculation about the childhood precursors of adult personality must now yield to this brilliant and compelling empirical portrait of the developmental antecedent of adult personality structure. This landmark cross-national study of more than 2400 parents' free descriptions provides strong confirmation of the Five-Factor Model of personality. This will be a must read for all interested in the childhood roots of adult personality."
—Paul T. Costa, PhD
National Institute on Aging.
"This is a treasure trove for anyone interested in child development, personality, or cross-cultural psychology. The reader will not only gain insights into child rearing practices across cultures, but will also be provoked to thoughtful reflection on the different ways parents in different cultures spontaneously describe their children. Here is indeed a rich feast for thought."
—John Digman, PhD
Oregon Research Institute
"This book has something in it for practically everyone. For personality psychologists and developmentalists, there are useful integrations of the adult personality and childhood temperament literatures using the Five Factor Model framework. For cultural researchers, there is careful attention of the differences and commonalities in parents' depictions of their children in seven countries. For anyone interested in childhood assessment, there is a glimpse of what is likely to become the best instrument for measuring childhood personality, and there is some special wisdom about studying personality development in African Americans. All in all, a rich set of data, expertly interpreted by an excellent team of international investigators."
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Contents: Preface. G.A. Kohnstamm, C.F. Halverson, Jr., I. Mervielde, V.L. Havill, Analyzing Parental Free Descriptions of Child Personality. E. Elphick, C.F. Halverson, Jr., M. Marzal-Wisniewska, Extraversion: Toward a Unifying Description From Infancy to Adulthood. V.L. Havill, E. Besevegis, S. Mouroussaki, Agreeableness as a Diachronic Human Trait. G.A. Kohnstamm, Y. Zhang, A-M. Slotboom, E. Elphick, A Developmental Integration of Conscientiousness From Childhood to Adulthood. A. Angleitner, G.A. Kohnstamm, A-M. Slotboom, E. Besevegis, Emotional Stability: Developmental Perspectives From Childhood to Adulthood. I. Mervielde, F. De Fruyt, S. Jarmuz, Linking Openness and Intellect in Childhood and Adulthood. A-M. Slotboom, V.L. Havill, V. Pavlopoulos, F. De Fruyt, Developmental Changes in Personality Descriptions of Children: A Cross-National Comparison of Parental Descriptions of Children. F. De Fruyt, A. Van Hiel, V. Buyst, Parental Personality Descriptions of Boys and Girls. J.B. Victor, H.E. Dent, B. Carter, C.F. Halverson, Jr., V.L. Havill, How African American Parents Describe Their Children. I. Mervielde, Validity of Results Obtained by Analyzing Free Personality Descriptions. A-M. Slotboom, E. Elphick, Appendix: Composition of the Seven Samples.