Agency to Agentic Personalities: The Early to Middle Childhood Gap

Authored by: Theodore A. Walls , Sarah H. Kollat

Handbook of Personality Development

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805847161
eBook ISBN: 9781315805610
Adobe ISBN: 9781317778073

10.4324/9781315805610.ch12

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Abstract

This chapter considers the course of agentic development beginning with the emergence of infant intentionality and agency. There is speculation about ways in which this developmental progression could be linked to the development of agentic personality characteristics that begin to emerge in middle childhood (around age 7). The discussion selectively traces early life-span cognitive developmental findings in order to characterize the developmental trajectory of intentionality and agency in infancy and early childhood. It considers ways in which this trajectory may lead to the development of metacognitive abilities and suggests that these abilities may mediate the relation between early agency and agentic personality. In addition, specific empirical study designs and related prospective analyses that could contribute meaningfully to the understanding of the developmental progression of agency to agentic personality characteristics are described briefly.

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