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Personality-achievement associations in adolescence-examining associations across grade levels and learning environments.
J. Tetzner, M. Becker, N. D. Brandt

Personality-achievement associations in adolescence-examining associations across grade levels and learning environments.

Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12495

This study examined associations between the five-factor personality traits and indicators of academic achievement (grades and test scores). A particular aim was to investigate whether personality-achievement associations differ between primary and secondary educational contexts and whether these differences vary between differential learning environments, that is academic versus nonacademic secondary schools. We used two representative random samples from Germany: N = 3,658 6th graders in their last year of primary school and N = 2,129 9th graders attending different secondary school tracks (n = 566 academic track students; n = 1,563 nonacademic track students). First, our results confirmed positive associations between Conscientiousness, Openness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness and academic achievement as well as negative associations between academic achievement and Neuroticism. Second, associations with Conscientiousness were more pronounced for school grades than for test scores. Third, associations were higher for 6th than for 9th graders in the overall sample for all personality traits with the exception of Openness. Fourth, personality-achievement associations differed between academic and nonacademic track students. In sum, our results suggest the need for an educational stage-specific perspective and contextually sensitive approach when examining personality-achievement associations.