|Sensitization or inoculation: Investigating the effects of early adversity on the development of personality traits and stress experiences in adulthood.
|Year of Publication
|Number of Pages
|University of Illinois
|Childhood, Inoculation, Personality, Sensitization, Stress
Cumulative evidence has been found for the concurrent and longitudinal associations between personality traits and stress experiences in adulthood. However, less is known about the etiology underlying these associations. The present study tested the effects of early adversity on the development of personality traits and stress experiences in adulthood, as well as their concurrent and longitudinal associations. Two samples of older adults from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and one sample of middle-aged adults from the Midlife in the United States Survey (MIDUS) were used. Across three studies, positive linear effects of early adversity were found on the level and changes in stress experiences in adulthood. The results also suggested significant linear effects of early adversity on the level of neuroticism across studies and the level of other personality traits in the middle-aged cohort. For the concurrent and longitudinal covariances between personality traits and stress experiences, some evidence was found for linear effects of early adversity in the middle-aged sample but not the older cohorts.