Personality and Health – A Longitudinal Study
This study began over 50 years ago with personality assessments of the participants when they were elementary school children on two Hawaiian islands. Since 1998, investigators located and recruited participants for questionnaire assessments of personality and many other psychosocial variables, including an extensive baseline medical and psychological examination at mean age 50. The project has just received another five years of funding.
During this next phase the primary activity will be to conduct the first follow-up medical and psychological examination of the participants at mean age 60, approximately 10 years after the baseline examination. Childhood personality and personality change (from childhood to adulthood, plus personality change in adulthood) will be used to predict physical health and cognitive function at mean age 60, and changes in physical health and cognitive functioning from mean age 50 to 60.
This project will generate evidence to guide personality based interventions, in particular by suggesting which traits and trait mechanisms are most relevant in childhood and at midlife (e.g., trait conscientiousness in elementary school, health-behavior mechanisms at midlife).