Adolescent Personality Types and Subtypes and Their Psychosocial Adjustment

Recent studies have suggested the existence of three personality types: resilients, overcontrollers, and undercontrollers. In this article, we searched for subtypes within each of the three main personality types. Using cluster analysis on the Big Five personality self-descriptions of 3,284 Dutch adolescent boys and girls, we distinguished communal and agentic resilients, vulnerable and achieving overcontrollers, and impulsive and oppositional undercontrollers. About two-thirds of the communal resilients and vulnerable overcontrollers were girls; agentic resilients and oppositional undercontrollers were mainly boys. The personality subtypes were further validated on a comprehensive set of self- and peer-reported adjustment measures, including perceived relational support, psychological well-being, delinquency, bullying involvement, peer acceptance and rejection, and peer-reported behavior. The personality subtypes were associated with very distinctive adjustment patterns.