The power of personality in successful ageing: a comprehensive review of larger quantitative studies

Eur J Ageing. 2020 Jul 19;18(2):269-285. doi: 10.1007/s10433-020-00575-6. eCollection 2021 Jun.


In this paper, we highlighted links between personality traits and successful ageing through a systematic review of recent empirical studies. Particularly, we addressed the question of whether personality traits are related to successful ageing and, if so, why and how? Answers to this question provided, for example, arguments that supported personality's role in planning an individual's future based on self-knowledge, thereby contributing to a sense of identity throughout their life. Then, considering longitudinal studies, we examined whether personality is stable over one's life course, or does it change and, if so, why and under what conditions? Answers to this question gave substance to the idea that a stable personality allows for continuous and consistent development. In addition, certain personality changes are likely to allow an individual to develop the resilience to better adapt to life's challenges. Therefore, the arguments brought by these two questions can help clarify the modulating role of personality for successful ageing via health and well-being outcomes. These insights may contribute to the development of new prevention approaches, more focused on inter- and intraindividual differences, to promote successful ageing.

Keywords: Health; Personality; Successful ageing; Well-being.

Publication types

  • Review