Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine a measure of explanatory style, the Optimism-Pessimism (PSM) scale derived from college-entry Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory scores, as a predictor of all-cause mortality. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 7007 students entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory during the mid-1960s. Of those students, 6958 had scores on the PSM scale and data for all-cause mortality through 2006. Scores on the PSM scale were evaluated as predictors of mortality using the Cox proportional hazards regression model, adjusted for sex. During the 40-year follow-up period, 476 deaths occurred. RESULTS: Pessimistic individuals who scored in the upper tertile of the distribution had decreased rates of longevity (hazard ratio, 1.42; 95% confidence Interval, 1.13-1.77) compared with optimistic individuals who scored in the bottom tertile of the distribution. CONCLUSION: In a model that adjusted only for sex, a measure of optimistic vs pessimistic explanatory style was a significant predictor of survival during a 40-year follow-up period such that optimists had Increased longevity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brummett, BH; Helms, MJ; Dahlstrom, WG; Siegler, IC

Published Date

  • December 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1541 - 1544

PubMed ID

  • 17165632

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-6196

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4065/81.12.1541


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England