The Childhood Personality and Behavioral Outcomes Study

The Childhood Personality and Behavioral Outcomes Study (CPBS) examines the relationships among individual differences in personality traits and children's behaviour throughout the transition from middle childhood into early adolescence. When CPBS began in 2007, we invited children aged 8-10 years to participate by completing a combination of interviews, interactive activities, and questionnaires on how children's personalities influence their thoughts, feelings, and interpersonal relationships. Since this initial visit, participating families have also been asked to complete yearly follow-up assessments. We are currently progressing with the third follow-up phase of CPBS, in which we are collecting questionnaires from child participants and their parents by mail. These questionnaires focus on how children's personalities are related to social success and the development of common problems over time. In addition, we are collecting saliva samples, which will allow us to examine the genetic underpinnings of personality. If you have not yet participated in this stage of CPBS, we would love to hear from you!

The CPBS Thin Slice Project

The thin-slice project is part of the bigger Childhood Personality and Behavioral Outcomes Study (CPBS). When children visited the lab during their intake visit and the second follow-up, they participated in a variety of tasks designed to elicit various personality traits. Tasks were around 2-5 minutes long and included doing spelling and math activities, and making up stories based on picture cards. We use these clips as another way to get information about the children's personalities, in addition to parent- and self-report. Previous research has shown that these thin-slice ratings of personality are surprisingly accurate (Borkenau et al., 2004) and we think that they might represent an efficient and innovative way to assess child personality. Some of the questions that we are interested in addressing with this project are (1) how these ratings relate to mother- and father-ratings of child personality and (2) how they relate to other variables of interest, such as children's social success or the development of common childhood problems over time.

The Childhood Personality Across Cultures Study

The Childhood Personality Across Cultures (CPAC) study originally sought to validate two personality measures developed by Belgian researchers. These measures, originally developed in Dutch, measure personality and temperament across childhood and adolescence. Through a group effort, the Personality Across Development lab in conjunction with our colleagues at Ghent University were validating a new English translation. We have currently received questionnaires from over 700 families and collected data on over 900 children. We are now using this data to examine in depth the relationship between personality and behaviours. From the success of this first study, we have now launched a follow-up project that invites adolescents to participate in our lab by completing a number of different tasks and questionnaires that measure personality, behaviour and even hormone levels! The objective is to look at the relationship between personality and behaviour across time and to investigate how hormones may interact with this relationship. So far, over 140 teens and/or their caregivers have participated in this follow-up study and we are looking forward to meeting more and more people as this study progresses! Finally, we would like to thank wholeheartedly all of the amazing caregivers and youth who have given their time to participate in our studies over the years, and who have therefore greatly assisted us in our pursuit of better understanding personality, behaviour and development.

Research Funded By

Research in the Tackett Lab is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Connaught Fund, and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation

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