top of page

Chapter 16 : Stability and change

What is "stability and change as addressed in the text? How much stability and change have characterized your life so far? How much stability and change do you predict will characterize your future development as an adult? Explain.

In the text, stability and change refers to the amount of change in personality witnessed in individuals over time (Santrock, 2019). This has be measured in longitudinal studies to assess changes in 5 specific categories (known as the Big Five factors of personality or O.C.E.A.N.): openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (Santrock, 2019, p. 500). High levels of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness seem to have a beneficial impact on one's quality and length of life (Santrock, 2019). However, high levels of neuroticism tend to lead to a lower quality of life, and a lower life expectancy (Santrock, 2019, p. 501).

When thinking about the OCEAN acronym, I have had incredible fluctuation in my capacity for extraversion and neuroticism. I have remained stable when it comes to openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. I grew up timid and without much social confidence in relation to larger groups, and much more comfortable relating one on one. As I got older, I worked really hard at becoming more social and practicing extraversion, taking more social risks. I also have increased my level of neuroticism with time. When I was a child, I remember a feeling of unquestioned peace. Worry was fairly foreign to me. Now I spend a lot of my life trying to plan for the future and control many elements that often end up being out of control. It drives me to be much more neurotic. I was raised by parents and in a family environment in which conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness were fundamental to our love language. I am lucky to have wonderful parents that model all of these aspects so completely that it was easy to integrate them into my relationship to the larger world.


Santrock, J. W. (2019). Lifespan development (17th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.


bottom of page