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Reading: Conscientiousness in Childhood


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Research Article

Conscientiousness in Childhood


Geldolph A. Kohnstamm ,

Leiden University, NL
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Anne Marie Slotboom,

Leiden University, NL
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Eric Elphick

Leiden University, NL
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Guided by the broad meaning of die Big Five factor Conscientiousness, a search is made for analogous constructs in the research of temperament and personality in infancy and childhood. Examples arc presented from factor analytic studies of personality ratings by parents and by teachers (using both questionnaires and Q-sort techniques) and from expert codings of free personality descriptions by parents and by children. The data presented suggest that from school age onwards a factor quite similar to adult Conscientiousness is clearly binding a portion of the variance in parent and teacher ratings. In free descriptions, between seven and ten percent of the personality relevant descriptors of children of school age arc usually coded in a category analogous to adult Conscientiousness.

How to Cite: Kohnstamm, G.A., Slotboom, A.M. and Elphick, E., 1994. Conscientiousness in Childhood. Psychologica Belgica, 34(4), pp.207–229. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 1994.
Peer Reviewed


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