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Personality and all cause mortality: evidence for indirect links

Ploubidis, George and Grundy, Emily ORCID: 0000-0002-9633-1116 (2009) Personality and all cause mortality: evidence for indirect links. Personality and Individual Differences, 47 (3). pp. 203-208. ISSN 0191-8869

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.paid.2009.02.022


The idea that personality traits may influence longevity is based on the observation that many of the leading risk factors for mortality are behavioural tendencies such as diet, exercise, or smoking patterns. We employed data from the 1984/85 Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS). Mortality follow-up was based on the June 2005 update of the HALS death and cancer data files. A structural equation modelling approach to survival analysis was employed for the first time in mortality research. This allowed us to investigate the direct as well as indirect links via variables that lie on the causal pathway of the association between extraversion, neuroticism and mortality. Psychological distress, alcohol consumption, smoking and somatic health were entered in the model as possible mediators. Neuroticism was indirectly associated with an increased risk of all cause mortality among women and men, mostly via somatic health and psychological distress, and to a lesser extent via smoking, whereas in women only, neuroticism had a protective role (directly). Extraversion was to a lesser extent associated with mortality risk with most of the effect being mediated by smoking. It appears that neuroticism and extraversion have a more complex association with all cause mortality than previously suggested.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Social Policy
Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2013 14:19
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:59

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