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He said, she said: The influence of childhood adversity and personality on the intrasexual competition strategy of gossip among adults

Smith, Alyson
Previous research indicates that childhood adversity has lasting effects as individuals transition from childhood to adulthood. The present study surveyed a sample of 524 adults in order to examine the influence of childhood adversity and personality upon rates of intrasexual competition. Participants completed the City Stress Inventory, HEXACO Revised Personality Inventory, and Tendency to Gossip Questionnaire. While general childhood adversity was not indicative of tendency to gossip, a significant relationship was found between the childhood adversity of neighborhood disorder and gossip about physical appearances and achievements of others as a means of intrasexual competition. Furthermore, high levels of extraversion and low levels of agreeableness were predictive of tendency to gossip in all areas, including physical appearance, achievement, and social information. These results support the idea that childhood adversity affects how individuals compete for the attention of mates, as well as reinforce the strong influence of personality traits upon mating behavior.