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Research Article

Parental Descriptions of Children’s Personality: A Five-Factor Model Classification

Authors:

Veerle Buyst,

University of Ghent, BE
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Filip De Fruyt,

University of Ghent, BE
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Ivan Mervielde

Department of Developmental and Personality Psychology, University of Ghent. H. Dunandaan 2, B-9000 Ghent
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Abstract

The paper reports the Flemish contribution to the first phase of an international collaborative research project operating as the International Consortium for the Study of Developmental Antecedents of the Five-Factor-Model (ICDA-FFM). Free parental oral descriptions of their own children’s personality are recorded, transcribed, segmented in units and classified with a category system comprising fourteen major categories, further subdivided in facets and clusters. Three quarters of the parental descriptors for children aged 3, 6, 9 and 12 could be classified as instances of various facets of the Five-Factor Model (FFM). Comparison of frequencies of classified descriptors across age levels shows a significant increase of descriptors indicating Conscientiousness and a decrease of references to Extraversion. Analysis at the facet level points towards an age related shift within Extraversion from activity to sociability descriptors. The relationship of categorised free child descriptions to the FFM is illustrated by their consistent pattern of correlations with factor scores derived from parental ratings of the same children on 25 scales (Mervielde, 1992) marking the FFM. Moreover, most of the free descriptors classified in categories regarded to be beyond the scope of the FFM, show significant and plausible correlations with the factor scores derived from parental ratings of the same children.

How to Cite: Buyst, V., De Fruyt, F. and Mervielde, I., 1994. Parental Descriptions of Children’s Personality: A Five-Factor Model Classification. Psychologica Belgica, 34(4), pp.231–255. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.871
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Published on 01 Jan 1994.
Peer Reviewed

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