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Personality and health: disentangling their between-person and within-person relationship in three longitudinal studies


Luo, Jing; Zhang, Bo; Estabrook, Ryne; Graham, Eileen K; Driver, Charles C; Schalet, Benjamin D; Turiano, Nicholas A; Spiro, Avron; Mroczek, Daniel K (2022). Personality and health: disentangling their between-person and within-person relationship in three longitudinal studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 122(3):493-522.

Abstract

Personality traits and physical health both change over the life span. Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that these changes are related. The current study investigated the dynamic relations between personality traits and physical health at both the between-person and the within-person levels. Data were drawn from three longitudinal studies: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study (NAS; N = 1,734), the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS; N = 13,559), and the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA, N = 2,209). Using random intercept cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs) and the continuous time (CT) models, after controlling the between-person variance, generally, evidence was found for bidirectional associations between changes in neuroticism and extraversion and changes in self-rated health and general disease level. Bidirectional associations between changes in neuroticism and change in cardiovascular diseases and central nervous system diseases were observed only when time was modeled as continuous. We also found within-person associations between changes in neuroticism and extraversion and changes in performance-based ratings of motor functioning impairment. According to the current findings, the dynamic within-person relations between personality traits and health outcomes were largely in the direction consistent with their between-person connections, although the within-person relationships were substantially smaller in strength when compared their between-person counterparts. Findings from the current study highlight the importance of distinguishing between-person and within-person effects when examining the longitudinal relationship between personality traits and health.

Abstract

Personality traits and physical health both change over the life span. Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that these changes are related. The current study investigated the dynamic relations between personality traits and physical health at both the between-person and the within-person levels. Data were drawn from three longitudinal studies: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study (NAS; N = 1,734), the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS; N = 13,559), and the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA, N = 2,209). Using random intercept cross-lagged panel models (RI-CLPMs) and the continuous time (CT) models, after controlling the between-person variance, generally, evidence was found for bidirectional associations between changes in neuroticism and extraversion and changes in self-rated health and general disease level. Bidirectional associations between changes in neuroticism and change in cardiovascular diseases and central nervous system diseases were observed only when time was modeled as continuous. We also found within-person associations between changes in neuroticism and extraversion and changes in performance-based ratings of motor functioning impairment. According to the current findings, the dynamic within-person relations between personality traits and health outcomes were largely in the direction consistent with their between-person connections, although the within-person relationships were substantially smaller in strength when compared their between-person counterparts. Findings from the current study highlight the importance of distinguishing between-person and within-person effects when examining the longitudinal relationship between personality traits and health.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Educational Evaluation
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:March 2022
Deposited On:25 Jan 2023 13:51
Last Modified:29 May 2024 01:45
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0022-3514
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000399
PubMed ID:35157486
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English