The Mills Longitudinal Study is a 50-year investigation of adult development that has followed a group of women since they graduated from Mills College. We are currently engaged in our sixth follow-up assessment with the women, who are now in their early 70s.

The study began as the first-ever psychological study of women's leadership and creativity, and has expanded to include such diverse topics as personality types, personality change and development, work and retirement, relationships, health, social and political attitudes, emotional expression and regulation, and wisdom.

The Mills Study has produced over 100 scholarly publications (link to pdf).

The Mills Project is housed in the Institute of Personality and Social Research (IPSR) at the University of California, Berkeley. We are currently supported by grants from the Retirement Research Foundation and the Metanexus Foundation.

Recent Publications

  • George, L., Helson, R., & John, O.P. (2011). The "CEO" of women's work lives: How Big Five Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Openness predict 50 years of work experiences in a changing sociocultural context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 4, 812-830.
  • Helson, R., George, L., & John, O.P. (2009). Challenge episodes over middle age: A person-centered study of aging well in poor health. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 323-334.
  • Soto, C.J., & John, O.P. (2009). Using the California Psychological Inventory to Assess the Big Five Personality Domains: A Hierarchical Approach. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 25-38.

El Campanil,
Mills College