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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Values, Personality, and Psychopathology in Youth

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Personality traits and personal values represent individual differences that influence many forms of behavior including psychopathology (Hanel & Wolfradt, 2016; Jarden, 2010; Ozer & Benet-Martinez, 2006; Schwartz, 2006). Extensive research has highlighted the importance of personality traits in the development of psychopathology in children. However, the association between values and psychopathology has yet to be examined in middle childhood. Racial/ethnic differences in personality traits and values have yet to be explicitly explored despite the presence of documented differences in adult samples (Foldes, Duehr & Ones, 2008; Gaines et al., 1997). Three studies evaluated associations between values, personality traits, and psychopathology in middle childhood. Racial/ethnic differences were also examined for each of the constructs. Chapters 2 and 3 evaluated value types in young adults and children. In both studies, two classes emerged, and they were further distinguished by race/ethnicity, gender, and personality trait associations. Chapter 3 also evaluated values-personality associations in children. Values and personality traits were associated in largely expected ways. Chapter 4 evaluated racial/ethnic differences in associations between individual differences and psychopathology. Power, universalism, and Agreeableness predicted externalizing problems, and Neuroticism predicted internalizing problems. Racial/ethnic differences did not emerge for any of the values-psychopathology or personality-psychopathology associations. Overall the findings from the studies suggest that associations between values and personality traits are present as early as middle childhood.

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  • 05/13/2019
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