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Multicenter Study
. 2001 May;80(5):804-13.

Positive Emotions in Early Life and Longevity: Findings From the Nun Study

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  • PMID: 11374751
Multicenter Study

Positive Emotions in Early Life and Longevity: Findings From the Nun Study

D D Danner et al. J Pers Soc Psychol. .

Abstract

Handwritten autobiographies from 180 Catholic nuns, composed when participants were a mean age of 22 years, were scored for emotional content and related to survival during ages 75 to 95. A strong inverse association was found between positive emotional content in these writings and risk of mortality in late life (p < .001). As the quartile ranking of positive emotion in early life increased, there was a stepwise decrease in risk of mortality resulting in a 2.5-fold difference between the lowest and highest quartiles. Positive emotional content in early-life autobiographies was strongly associated with longevity 6 decades later. Underlying mechanisms of balanced emotional states are discussed.

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