Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Nicholas A Turiano

Committee Co-Chair

Megan R Dillow

Committee Member

Aaron Metzger

Committee Member

Natalie J Shook

Committee Member

JoNell Strough


Personality and negative social interactions (NSIs; interactions with social network members that are perceived to be a violation of relationship norms; Brooks & Dunkel Schetter, 2011) are associated with detrimental health outcomes (Hampson & Friedman, 2008; Hill, Weston, & Jackson, 2014). Personality is also associated with the occurrence of NSIs (Allemand, Schaffhuser, & Martin, 2015; Bono, Boles, Judge, & Lauver, 2002; Silva, Henrie, & Patrick, 2016). However, both of these constructs change across adulthood (Carstensen, Isaacowitz, & Charles, 1999; Roberts, Wood, & Smith, 2005) so it is important to understand how the associations between these two variables may change over time. The few studies that have explored such longitudinal associations by examining the reciprocal associations between them are scarce. Utilizing a sample of 1,530 adults (M age at Time 1 = 46.03, SD = 10.50, 49.40% female) from the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) dataset, the reciprocal associations between the Big Five personality traits and NSIs were examined over 18 years using latent growth curves. Results indicated that (a) personality traits and NSIs change over adulthood; (b) personality traits predict the occurrence of and change in NSIs over time; (c) NSIs predict personality levels and change in personality over time; and (d) age significantly moderated these associations. The findings provide insight into how personality and NSIs exhibit differential associations and patterns of change across adulthood based on one's age.