Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Health. 2016 Dec;31(12):1466-1480. Epub 2016 Sep 10.

The relationship between positive psychological characteristics and longer telomeres.

Author information

1
a Psychology , University of New England , Armidale , Australia.
2
b Centre for Bioactive Discovery in Health and Ageing, School of Science and Technology , University of New England , Armidale , Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Longer telomeres are associated with better health and longevity. This research investigated the relationship between positive psychological dispositional traits and telomere length. Positive traits examined were typical high positive affect, typical low negative affect, life satisfaction, trait mindfulness, trait emotional intelligence, general self-efficacy and optimism.

DESIGN AND MEASURES:

One hundred and twenty women and men, with a mean age of 40.92, completed measures of positive characteristics and provided samples for telomere length analysis.

RESULTS:

Together the positive dispositional characteristics explained significant variance in telomere length, R = .40. Among the individual characteristics, greater optimism and higher emotional intelligence were associated with longer telomeres after adjustment for age and gender and the association between optimism and telomere length remained significant after adjusting for age and gender as well as the other positive characteristics, with a partial correlation r of .30.

CONCLUSION:

These results in conjunction with previous research findings provide a platform for further exploration of biological pathways connecting positive characteristics such as optimism to telomere length and investigation of the impact of increasing a characteristic such as optimism on telomere functioning.

KEYWORDS:

emotional intelligence; optimism; positive characteristics; positive psychology; telomeres

PMID:
27616348
DOI:
10.1080/08870446.2016.1226308
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center