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.
- Lifespan development