Conscientiousness has been shown to predict healthy behaviors, healthy social relationships, and physical health and longevity. The causal links, however, are complex and not well elaborated. Many extant studies have used comparable measures for conscientiousness, and a systematic endeavor to build cross-study analyses for conscientiousness and health now seems feasible. Of particular interest are efforts to construct new, more comprehensive causal models by linking findings and combining data from existing studies of different cohorts. Although methodological perils can threaten such integration, such efforts offer an early opportunity to enliven a life course perspective on conscientiousness, to see whether component facets of conscientiousness remain related to each other and to relevant mediators across broad spans of time, and to bolster the findings of the few long-term longitudinal studies of the dynamics of personality and health. A promising approach to testing new models involves pooling data from extant studies as an efficient and heuristic prelude to large-scale testing of interventions.
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