Personality profiles and adolescents’ maladjustment: A longitudinal study

Ainzara Favini, Maria Gerbino, Nancy Eisenberg, Carolina Lunetti, Eriona Thartori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During adolescence, some personality characteristics may represent vulnerabilities to adolescents’ adjustment. Adopting a person-centered approach, the aims of this study were (a) to examine the relations of early adolescents’ personality profiles to internalizing (i.e., anxious/depressed, withdrawal, and somatic complaints) and externalizing (i.e., aggressive and rule breaking behavior) problems three years later, and (b) to explore the moderating role of gender in these relations. Six hundred fifteen Italian preadolescents (mean age = 12.5) completed the Big Five Questionnaire for Children at age 12 and the Youth Self-Report at age 12 and three years later. Four personality types were identified using Latent Profile Analysis: Resilient, Moderate, Undercontrolled and Vulnerable. In multiple-group path analysis, after controlling for the stability of the outcomes, for both genders, Resilient reported low levels of externalizing problems three years later, whereas Vulnerable youths reported high levels of internalizing problems. Finally, Undercontrolled reported high levels of subsequent externalizing problems. The present study corroborated the unique and specific prediction by personality profiles of different types of subsequent maladjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jul 15 2018


  • Adolescence
  • Externalizing problems
  • Internalizing problems
  • Personality profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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