Objectives: Past research has shown that parental longevity is related to offspring physical health and longevity. Preliminary studies suggest that parental longevity may be linked to the offspring's personality traits. A comprehensive 5-factor personality model has been related to physical health, but the association with parental longevity has not yet been investigated. We used a 5-factor personality model to investigate the relationship between parental longevity and offspring personality.
Method: Data from the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study (HRS) was used in the analyses. Using the Midlife Development Inventory and the Life Orientation test, the relationship between parental attained age and offspring personality was assessed using regression models for both men and women.
Results: Male offspring of long-lived fathers and mothers were more likely to be open to new experiences (p < .01) and be more extroverted (p = .03) compared with male offspring of short-lived fathers or mothers. Maternal or paternal attained age had no effect on the female offspring personality traits.
Discussion: Personality is an important phenotype to consider when investigating genetic and environmental determinants of longevity. Further research is needed to investigate the potential of gender-specific mechanisms.
Keywords: Gender specific; Inheritance; Longevity; Personality..