Cohort differences in personality in middle-aged women during a 36-year period: Results from the Population Study of Women in Gothenburg
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 38, no 5, 457-464 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aim: To investigate secular trends in personality traits in adult female populations. Methods: Two representative, population-based cohorts of women, 38 (n = 318) and 50 (n = 593) years of age participated in a health examination in 1968 and 2004 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) and Cesarec-Marke Personality Schedule (CMPS) were used to measure personality traits. Socioeconomic and lifestyle variables (personal income, education, marital status, children at home, physical activity and smoking) were reported. Results: In both age groups, secular comparisons in psychological profile subscales showed an increase in dominance, exhibition, aggression and achievement. Only small divergences were seen concerning affiliation, guilt feelings, nurturance and succorance. EPI showed a corresponding rise in extroversion. Social data showed a statistically significant increase in percentage of unmarried women, personal income levels, and higher educational achievement. While around 70% of women in 1968-69 had elementary school education only, around 90% had high school or university education in 2004-05. Conclusions: The results indicate major transitions in the adult Swedish female population in the direction of a more stereotypically "male'' personality profile, but not at the expense of traditionally socially important female traits, which remained constant. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that society and the environment influence personality.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 38, no 5, 457-464 p.
Cohort comparisons, personality traits, population study, women
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-147212DOI: 10.1177/1403494810371247ISI: 000279064900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-147212DiVA: diva2:400162