Relationship Between Personality Traits, Generativity, and Life Satisfaction in Individuals Attending University Programs for Seniors

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2018 Sep;87(2):184-200. doi: 10.1177/0091415017740678. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Personality traits of older adults and their contribution to life satisfaction and generative interest were assessed. A total of 342 older participants (66% women), mean age = 67.89 years old ( SD = 6.52, range = 55-84 years old), who attended the University of the Experience in Salamanca (Spain), were evaluated. Information on sociodemographic data, perceived health and activity, personality traits, generativity, and life satisfaction was collected using self-reported questionnaires. Results confirmed a relation between personality traits, life satisfaction, and generativity. In addition, generative concern, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness predicted life satisfaction at this stage. Moreover, the role of personality on generativity was confirmed. Individuals with interest and agreeableness toward others, who are organized, persistent, and motivated, are more predisposed to generativity. These results open the way to develop intervention programs that enhance positive personality traits and generative interest to improve quality of life of older people.

Keywords: Big Five personality traits; generativity; higher education; life satisfaction; older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Spain
  • Students*
  • Universities