Age group differences and longitudinal changes in approach-avoidance sensitivity: Findings from an 8-year longitudinal study

Timothy Windsor, Elissa Pearson, Peter Butterworth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An increasing number of studies point to normative changes in personality occurring during adulthood. We examined age group differences and longitudinal changes in approach-avoidance sensitivities across adulthood using a population-based sample of younger, midlife, and older adults (N=7468) assessed on three occasions over an 8year interval. Younger adults reported higher approach sensitivity (assessed using BAS-Drive and BAS-Reward subscales) relative to midlife and older adults. Approach sensitivity tended to decline between Times 1 and 3 for all age groups. Cross-sectional age differences were not evident for avoidance sensitivity at Time 1 (assessed using the BIS); however there was evidence for different patterns of change in avoidance over time across the age groups. Results are discussed in the context of lifespan developmental perspectives on self-regulation of emotion and behaviour.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)646-654
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Research in Personality
    Volume46
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Approach-avoidance
    • Lifespan development
    • Self-regulation

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