Two sets of recent findings can tie together the areas of lifespan personality development and personality and health. First, certain personality traits predict mortality. Second, not only do traits have the capacity to change over the lifespan, but such change predicts mortality. In the last project period we have provided the foundation for such an integration of the areas of personality and health and personality development. In this competing renewal, we propose a number of studies that will lead to a more nuanced understanding of these phenomena. We request support for further data analyses within the Boston VA Normative Aging Study (NAS), as well as to obtain two more waves of longitudinal data and another measurement burst (daily experiences study). Recognizing that the NAS cohort is decreasing in size due to increased mortality, we are also requesting support to expand our studies to two other longitudinal studies that are slightly younger in age and which are more diverse: the Midlife in the U.S. Survey (MIDUS) and the Health &Activity Study of Central Illinois (HASCI). The latter is consistent with recent calls to simultaneously analyze multiple data sets to answer common research questions, in pursuit of cumulative science. We believe each of our aims are significant and have high health relevance, and in concert they will lead to enhanced knowledge of how personality and well-being, but also change in these constructs, can affect health and mortality. We will be guided by two specific aims: 1) To test an overarching conceptual model of the mechanisms that form conduits between personality and disease/mortality, and 2) to test how personality change influences illness and mortality, and to determine what are the intervening variables that explain this association.

Public Health Relevance

It is important to understand the psychosocial factors that predict physical health and mortality over the adult lifespan and into the older years. In particular, we require more thorough knowledge on the mechanisms through which such psychosocial factors influence disease and mortality. Among the most promising psychosocial predictors of health and mortality are personality variables, but change in these constructs may prove as important for health as simple level.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AG018436-12
Application #
8324522
Study Section
Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
Project Start
2000-09-15
Project End
2013-05-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2013-05-31
Support Year
12
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$387,837
Indirect Cost
$79,711
Name
Purdue University
Department
Pediatrics
Type
Other Domestic Higher Education
DUNS #
072051394
City
West Lafayette
State
IN
Country
United States
Zip Code
47907
Mehta, Amar J; Cassidy, Aedín; Litonjua, Augusto A et al. (2016) Dietary anthocyanin intake and age-related decline in lung function: longitudinal findings from the VA Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr 103:542-50
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Mroczek, Daniel K; Stawski, Robert S; Turiano, Nicholas A et al. (2015) Emotional Reactivity and Mortality: Longitudinal Findings From the VA Normative Aging Study. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 70:398-406
Hostinar, Camelia E; Lachman, Margie E; Mroczek, Daniel K et al. (2015) Additive contributions of childhood adversity and recent stressors to inflammation at midlife: Findings from the MIDUS study. Dev Psychol 51:1630-44
Turiano, Nicholas A; Chapman, Benjamin P; Gruenewald, Tara L et al. (2015) Personality and the leading behavioral contributors of mortality. Health Psychol 34:51-60

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