Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



A relatively small amount of research has examined personality and personality disorder change from more than one perspective, particularly in older adults. The main aim of this study is to examine personality and personality disorder change in older adults from multiple perspectives including an interview assessment, self-report, and informant-report. Data from the St. Louis Personality and Aging Network (SPAN), a representative sample of St. Louis residents with 1,630 participants and their informants, was used to study change. We use structural equation modeling to test mean-level changes and individual differences in change over the course of the study. For personality disorders, interview assessment showed a decrease in personality pathology whereas both self- and informant-report showed stability or increases in personality pathology. For personality traits, our results also varied by self- or informant-report as self-report showed more stability in personality traits whereas informant-report showed decreases in conscientiousness, extraversion, and neuroticism over the study. The significance of individual differences in change also varied as a function of the type of report: informant-report showed more variability in change than both interview and self-report. These results highlight the utility in studying personality change from different perspectives.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Thomas Oltmanns

Committee Members

David Condon, Patrick Hill, Joshua Jackson, Thomas Rodebaugh,


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