Dr. Rebecca Shiner

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Overview of research

My research lies at the intersection of personality, developmental, and clinical psychology. I study personality development across the life span and address questions like these: Do children exhibit personality traits comparable to those observed in adults? To what extent is personality continuity observed across time, and under what circumstances does personality change? Does personality predict how individuals negotiate important life tasks, such as academic achievement and the cultivation of positive relationships with friends and romantic partners? How does personality functioning leave individuals vulnerable to the development of psychopathology? What factors enable children and adolescents with challenging personalities to flourish as they develop? In addition to my work on personality development, I research three other topics. First, I study the internalizing disorders of depression and anxiety, including the etiology of these disorders and their current manifestations. Second, I have become increasingly interested in the development of personality disorders. Third, I have conducted research on happiness and well-being; in particular, I am interested in what pathways lead to greater happiness over the life course.