Objective: This study aimed to contrast differential susceptibility and diathesis–stress models in examining adolescents' Big Five personality dimensions as moderators of longitudinal associations between interparental stress and (mal)adaptation in emerging adulthood (i.e., self-efficacy, externalizing and internalizing behavior). Method: Data from the large longitudinal Flemish Study on Parenting, Personality and Development were used (475 families, adolescents' Mage = 15.82, SDage = 1.15), with both parents reporting on their interparental stress and mothers reporting on the adolescent's personality and in 2009, and emerging adults reporting on their own (mal)adaptive functioning in 2009 and 2015 and their personality in 2015. Results: Multivariate models showed that extraversion, benevolence, emotional stability and imagination were uniquely related to (mal)adaptation across the 6-year interval. In general, our results exhibited no consistent moderating role for adolescents' personality. Only for girls, high levels of extraversion functioned as a “susceptibility maker” in associations between father's interparental stress and self-efficacy, and, low levels of emotional stability functioned as a “vulnerability marker” in associations between parents' interparental stress and self-efficacy. Conclusions: The interaction effects as well as their (restricted) generalizability across gender should be replicated before drawing firm conclusions. Adolescents' personality characteristics were important predictors of (mal)adaptation during the transition into emerging adulthood.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors like to express special thanks to Marco del Giudice for his statistical advisements guiding this article. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Personality published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.