Lessons learned from conducting a study of emotions and positive personality change in Syrian origin young adults who have recently resettled in the Netherlands

Post-traumatic growth is a compelling idea, yet extant research has often employed retrospective reports of change, rather than examining change over time. Research on samples of people that are traditionally seen as hard-to-reach are rare within personality psychology.


In Karakter, we assessed a sample of Syrian origin young adults who recently resettled in the Netherlands (initial N = 168) four times over a 13-month period to examine experiences of adversity, emotions, and positive personality change. Here, we provide a detailed narrative of the research process, beginning with a description of how we incorporated open science practices in Karakter. We then turn to a discussion of the changes, challenges, and opportunities we encountered in the research. In doing so, we discuss conceptual and methodological considerations when examining personality change.


We close with suggestions for researchers who are interested in conducting similar studies with populations that are underrecruited in the future.

Joanne M. Chung, Laurien Meijer, Renée Zonneveld, Zeina Al Sawaf, Kinan Alajak, Neha Moopen, Haza Rahim, Leyla Çiftçi, Eva Alisic, Jennifer E. Stellar, Trudy Mooren, Marieke Sleijpen, Tara Tesanovic, Huda Al Baker, Rima Dali, Marilena Papadantonaki, Natalia Papakosta, Michelle Antink, Sofia Charisopoulou , Mariëlle Frens, Sarah O’Connor, Duygu Tasfiliz and Odilia M. Laceulle | 2022
In: European Journal of Personality ; ISSN: 0890-2070 | 36 | 4 | 665-682
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