Leszko et al., 2016. Future directions in the study of personality in adulthood and older age

Leszko, M., Elleman, L. G., Bastarache, E. D., Graham, E. K., & Mroczek, D. K. (2016). Future directions in the study of personality in adulthood and older age. Gerontology, 62(2), 210-215.

Year: 
2016
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Over the past 20 years, empirical evidence has brought about a change in the view on how, or even whether, personality traits change or develop in adulthood and later life. Now we know personality can and does change for many people, if not most. Changes in personality may occur due to biological or environmental factors. This paper presents key empirical findings on personality change in adulthood and provides evidence that personality change affects mental and physical health. Our goal is to provide a broad overview on personality change research that would be an invaluable resource for students and researchers. We organize this paper into 3 sections. The first is focused on techniques in analyzing personality change in adulthood and later life. The second is focused on personality change as an outcome; we explore what factors predict personality change. The third discusses a relatively novel idea: personality change as a predictor of mental and physical health. We conclude that more research on factors predicting personality change is needed and we provide suggestions on how research on personality change can progress.

 

Whiteman et al., 2013. The development and implications of peer emotional support for student service members/veterans and civilian college students.

Whiteman, S. D., Barry, A. E., Mroczek, D. K., & MacDermid Wadsworth, S. (2013). The development and implications of peer emotional support for student service members/veterans and civilian college students. Journal of counseling psychology, 60(2), 265.

Year: 
2013
Status: 
complete
Abstract: 

Student service members/veterans represent a growing population on college campuses. Despite this growth, scholarly investigations into their health- and adjustment-related issues are almost nonexistent. The limited research that is available suggests that student service members/veterans may have trouble connecting with their civilian counterparts and be at risk for social isolation. The present study compared the development and implications of emotional support from peers among 199 student service members/veterans and 181 civilian students through 3 distinct occasions over the course of 1 calendar year. Data were collected via electronic survey. Measured constructs included perceived emotional support from university friends, mental health, alcohol use, and academic functioning. A series of multilevel models revealed that student service members/veterans reported less emotional support from their peers compared with their civilian counterparts; yet, emotional support from peers increased similarly for both groups over time. Although, increasing peer emotional support was generally related to better academic and mental health outcomes for both groups, the links between emotional support and mental health were stronger for civilian students. Results suggest that mental health practitioners, particularly those on college campuses, should be prepared to deal with veteran-specific experiences that occur before and during college. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Rast & Hofer, 2014. Longitudinal design considerations to optimize power to detect variances and covariances among rates of change: Simulation results based on actual longitudinal studies

Rast, P., & Hofer, S. M. (2014). Longitudinal design considerations to optimize power to detect variances and covariances among rates of change: Simulation results based on actual longitudinal studies. Psychological Methods, 19(1), 133.

Year: 
2012
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Hofer, S. M., & Rast, P. (October, 2012). Substantial power to detect variance and covariance among rates of change: Results based on actual longitudinal studies and related simulations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, Vancouver, BC

Abstract: 

We investigated the power to detect variances and covariances in rates of change in the context of existing longitudinal studies using linear bivariate growth curve models. Power was estimated by means of Monte Carlo simulations. Our findings show that typical longitudinal study designs have substantial power to detect both variances and covariances among rates of change in a variety of cognitive, physical functioning, and mental health outcomes. We performed simulations to investigate the interplay among number and spacing of occasions, total duration of the study, effect size, and error variance on power and required sample size. The relation between growth rate reliability (GRR) and effect size to the sample size required to detect power ≥ .80 was non-linear, with rapidly decreasing sample sizes needed as GRR increases. The results presented here stand in contrast to previous simulation results and recommendations (Hertzog, Lindenberger, Ghisletta, & von Oertzen, 2006Hertzog, von Oertzen, Ghisletta, & Lindenberger, 2008von Oertzen, Ghisletta, & Lindenberger, 2010), which are limited due to confounds between study length and number of waves, error variance with GCR, and parameter values which are largely out of bounds of actual study values. Power to detect change is generally low in the early phases (i.e. first years) of longitudinal studies but can substantially increase if the design is optimized. We recommend additional assessments, including embedded intensive measurement designs, to improve power in the early phases of long-term longitudinal studies.

Gray et al., 2011. The longitudinal relationship between behaviour and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and parental mental health.

Gray, K. M., Piccinin, A. M., Hofer, S. M., Mackinnon, A., Bontempo, D. E., Einfeld, S. L., Parmenter, T., & Tonge, B. J. (2011). The longitudinal relationship between behavior and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and maternal mental health. Research in developmental disabilities, 32(3), 1194-1204.

Year: 
2008
Status: 
complete
Presentation Citations: 

Gray, K.M., Tonge, B., Hofer, S. M., Piccinin, A., Mackinnon, A., Bontempo, D., Einfeld, S., & Parmenter, T. (2008, November). The longitudinal relationship between behaviour and emotional disturbance in young people with intellectual disability and parental mental health. Paper presented at the 43rd conference of the Australian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (ASSID), Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract: 

Although elevated rates of parent psychosocial distress have been associated with child behavior and emotional problems, little is known about the nature of this relationship over time. This study followed an epidemiological cohort of children and adolescents over 11 years with 4 waves of data collection. Within this cohort, complete data were available on 238 mothers and their children. Behavior and emotional problems were assessed using the DBC, maternal mental health with the GHQ. Multivariate growth curve modelling was used to evaluate the commonality of individual change patterns. High levels of mental health problems were reported, which were stable over time. Higher scores on the DBC were associated with higher rates of mental health problems. Increases in child social relating problems were associated with increases mental health symptoms, particularly depression and anxiety.