A new study has said that childhood personality type can help predict when key transitional events will occur while moving into adulthood.
These transitional events, according to the team, include leaving parents' home, establishing a romantic relationship, and entering the world of part-time work.
The study, led by Jaap Denissen of Humboldt-University Berlin, assessed degrees of shyness and aggressiveness through parental scales and teacher reports.
The research consisted of 230 children who were studied every year from their first or second year in preschool until age 12. After age 12, the sample was reassessed twice, at ages 17 and 23.
The research team tested the hypotheses on the predictive validity of three major preschool personality types.
Resilient personality is characterized by above average emotional stability, IQ, and academic achievement. Over control is characterized by low scores on extraversion, emotional stability, and self-esteem. Under control is characterized by low scores on emotional stability and agreeableness and high scores on aggressive behavior.
The 19-year longitudinal study showed that childhood personality types were meaningfully associated with the timing of the transitions.
Resilient males were found to leave their parents' house approximately one year earlier than over controlled or under controlled children.
Over controlled boys took more than a year longer than others in finding a romantic partner. While, resilient boys and girls were faster in getting a part-time job than their over controlled and under controlled peers.
"Studies of so-called natural experiments will continue to be useful in elucidating the effects of life experiences on personality development," the researchers said.
The study is published in the Journal of Personality.