Personality Traits and Successful Aging: Findings From the Georgia Centenarian Study.
The current study attempted to describe how personality traits of older adults are associated with components of successful aging (cognition, volunteering, activities of daily living, and subjective health). Three-hundred and six octogenarians and centenarians who participated in the third phase of the Georgia Centenarian Study provided data for this study. Factor analysis was conducted to test the existence of two higher-order factors of the Big Five personality traits, and a two-factor model (alpha and beta) fit the data well. Also, blocked multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the association between personality traits and four components of successful aging. Results indicated that low scores on neuroticism and high scores on extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are significantly related to the components of successful aging. After controlling for demographic variables (age, gender, residential type, and race/ethnicity), alpha (i.e., emotional stability, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) was associated with higher levels of cognition, higher likelihood of engaging in volunteer work, higher levels of activities of daily living, and higher levels of subjective health. Beta (i.e., extraversion and openness to experience) was also positively associated with cognition and engaging in volunteer work.
Baek, Y; Martin, P; Siegler, IC; Davey, A; Poon, LW
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