The Hawaii Personality and Health Cohort, 1959-1967: Childhood Personality Data (ICPSR 36737)

Published: May 17, 2017

Principal Investigator(s):
Grant Edmonds, Oregon Research Institute; Sarah Hampson, Oregon Research Institute; Lewis Goldbweg, Oregon Research Institute; John Digman, Oregon Research Institute; Joan Dubanoski, Kaiser Permanente Center For Health Research, Hawaii; Caryn Oshiro, Kaiser Permanente Center For Health Research, Hawaii

Version V1

These data are being released in BETA version to facilitate early access to the study for research purposes. This collection has not been fully processed by NACDA or ICPSR at this time; the original materials provided by the principal investigator were minimally processed and converted to other file types for ease of use. As the study is further processed and given enhanced features by ICPSR, users will be able to access the updated versions of the study. Please report any data errors or problems to user support and we will work with you to resolve any data related issues.

The Hawaii Personality and Health Cohort consists of teacher ratings of their students' personalities. John M. (Jack) Digman orchestrated the collection of the child personality data between 1959 and 1967, during his tenure as a professor at the University of Hawaii. Childhood data was collected on 2418 children in classrooms on the islands of Oahu and Kauai. Six waves of data collection were completed, and eighty-eight teachers provided assessments of their students. Children ranged in age from 5 to 14, and were in grades 1,2,3,5 or 6.

The initial goal of this work was to generate ratings using a broad set of items to allow for research on the structure of personality in childhood. The data collection predated the acceptance of the Big Five model of personality. Items were selected to capture the entire range of observable personality, which at the time was thought to be characterized by 10 or more domains. Subsequent analysis by Dr. Digman, and later by Lewis R. (Lew) Goldberg, demonstrated a consistent five factor structure in the child personality data. In the early days of the emergence of the Big Five model of personality structure, the Hawaii child data provided initial evidence to support the acceptance of Big Five model of personality.

Subsequent follow-up of the sample in adulthood has included multiple questionnaires, and assessments of objective markers of health. These follow-up data allowed for the first ever assessment of the stability in the Big Five over a span of 40 years. At average age 50, participants were recruited for a half day clinic visit. Objective markers of health collected at this time have supported work testing childhood personality as a predictor of physical health, and also research testing lifespan pathways linking childhood personality to physical health in adulthood.

This initial release includes the full childhood cohort data. Also included are a set of Big Five scores that have been used in published research on the Hawaii Personality Cohort, and a number of different sets of personality scales derived from these data. Basic demographic information is also provided. Subsequent data releases will include questionnaire and clinic data collected in adulthood.

For additional information about the correspondence between these datasets, please see the accompanying Excel file, which provides a table of overlapping variables across the datasets. Further information about this crosswalk file can be found in the "Item Overlap" section of the accompanying Study Description document.

Demographic variables included in this study include gender, cultural identity, and year of birth.

Edmonds, Grant, Hampson, Sarah, Goldbweg, Lewis, Digman, John, Dubanoski, Joan, and Oshiro, Caryn. The Hawaii Personality and Health Cohort, 1959-1967: Childhood Personality Data. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-05-17.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R01AG020048)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R03AG046510)


This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, these data are restricted from general dissemination. To obtain this file, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement and return it to the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, P.O. Box 1248, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248.

1959 -- 1967

1959 -- 1967

The variable ID is the individual-level linking variable for the seven datasets.

Sample size and composition varies by dataset, although all samples were drawn from elementary schools on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai. Additional information about the six samples can be found in the accompanying Study Description document as well as the following articles:

Goldberg, L. R. (2001). Analyses of Digman's child-personality data: Derivation of Big-Five factor scores from each of six samples. Journal of Personality, 69, 5, 709-743.

Hampson, S. E., Dubanoski, J. P., Hamada, W., Marsella, A. J., Matsukawa, J., Suarez, E., and Goldberg, L. R. (2001). Where are they now? Locating former elementary-school students after nearly 40 years for a longitudinal study of personality and health. Journal of Research in Personality, 35, 375-387.

Cross-sectional ad-hoc follow-up


Children in grades 1, 2, 3, 5, or 6 at schools on the islands of Oahu and Kauai.


survey data

on-site questionnaire

Data set 4 consists of a series of personality scale scores using 39 shared items across the Kauai and Oahu samples. These include Big Five scale scores, a set of midlevel cluster scores described by Goldberg (2001), Big Five scores harmonized for use with the Terman child data (Kern, Hampson, Goldberg, and Friedman, 2014), and ARC type scores derived in three different ways (Chapman and Goldberg, 2011).



2017-04-19 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).