The Association of Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Inequality with Personality

C S Dunkel, Dimitri van der Linden, TC de Baca, BB Boutwell, Paraskevas Petrou

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The relationship between neighborhood quality and personality was explored using a large nationally representative sample of midlife adults, namely, the data from the Midlife in the United States Longitudinal Study of Health and Well-Being. A multilevel approach was used to track correlations between fluctuations in perceived neighborhood safety and inequality and personality across three points in time. As predicted from life history theory, personality fluctuated along with perceived neighborhood safety and inequality such that the general factor of personality decreased as neighborhood safety decreased and neighborhood inequality increased. In a second set of analyses, monozygotic twin difference scores were used to control for possible genetic confounds. It was found that the twin who reported the greatest neighborhood safety and least neighborhood inequality also had the highest general factor of personality. Future research could be directed at identifying and remediating the specific aspects of the neighborhood that may increase the risk of negative changes in functioning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-366
Number of pages13
JournalEvolutionary Psychological Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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