Personality is associated with perceived health and functional status in older primary care patients

Psychol Aging. 2003 Mar;18(1):25-37. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.18.1.25.


Using data collected on 265 primary care medical patients 60 years of age and older, the authors examined the personality bases of subjective health (perceived health, functional status) after controlling for observer-rated depression and medical burden. Four hypotheses were tested: High Neuroticism is associated with poorer perceived health, low Extraversion is associated with poorer perceived health, low Openness to Experience is associated with worse functional status, and age moderates the relationships between personality and subjective health. Findings supported the notion that personality is associated with subjective health; moreover, this effect appeared to grow more pronounced with increasing age. This study underscores the conceptual and heuristic value of examining moderators of the links between personality variables and health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Personality*
  • Self Concept*