Teacher-rated personality types in middle childhood
Butzon, Colby Douglas
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Three primary objectives were proposed in the current study. The first objective was to identify a typology of personality based on teacher ratings of individuals in middle childhood. The second objective was to determine the extent to which the different personality types derived from the first objective exhibited differences in characteristics of social standing as reported by peers. Finally, the personality types were compared to multidimensional social status types found in previous research (Lease, Musgrove, & Axelrod, 2002; Lindstrom & Lease, 2005). Teacher ratings of children as measured by the Inventory of Child Individual Differences-Teacher Short Form (ICID-TS) were collected for 473 children between the ages of 9 and 12 in Georgia public schools Georgia. Additionally, peer nominations of social standing and self-reported aspects of friendships were obtained. Personality data were submitted to a combined method of cluster analysis. First, Ward’s hierarchical agglomerative method of analysis was conducted to determine cluster centroids. Next, an iterative k-means procedure was used to assign group members to appropriate clusters. This process resulted in five personality clusters: Dysregulated, Resilient, Disagreeable, Average, and Overcontrolled. Next, the personality clusters were examined in relation to differences in social status variables. In general, the Dysregulated cluster was viewed in a negative light by peers, the Resilient cluster was viewed positively, the Average and Overcontrolled clusters were perceived as neutral, and the Disagreeable cluster was associated with dominance and popularity, but was also disliked. Finally, the personality clusters were examined relative to social status types. Dysregulated individuals were associated with low status types, Resilient individuals were members of high status types, and the Average and Overcontrolled individuals were not more likely than expected by chance to be members of any particular social status type. Disagreeable children were rarely assigned to the Average social status type, but were more likely to be viewed by peers as Perceived Popular/Dominant, Disliked, or Low Status. These results extend theories of a typology of personality in children and elucidate associations between personality and social standing in peer groups.