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Health Psychol. 2008 Sep;27(5):505-12. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.5.505.

Do conscientious individuals live longer? A quantitative review.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, CA 82521-0426, USA. margaret.kern@email.ucr.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Following up on growing evidence that higher levels of conscientiousness are associated with greater health protection, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of the association between conscientiousness-related traits and longevity.

DESIGN:

Using a random-effects analysis model, the authors statistically combined 20 independent samples. In addition, the authors used fixed-effects analyses to examine specific facets of conscientiousness and study characteristics as potential moderators of this relationship.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Effect sizes were computed for each individual sample as the correlation coefficient r, based on the relationship between conscientiousness and mortality risk (all-cause mortality risk, longevity, or length of survival).

RESULTS:

Higher levels of conscientiousness were significantly and positively related to longevity (r = .11, 95% confidence interval = .05-.17). Associations were strongest for the achievement (persistent, industrious) and order (organized, disciplined) facets of conscientiousness.

CONCLUSION:

Results strongly support the importance of conscientiousness-related traits to health across the life span. Future research and interventions should consider how individual differences in conscientiousness may cause and be shaped by health-relevant biopsychosocial events across many years.

PMID:
18823176
DOI:
10.1037/0278-6133.27.5.505
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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