Personality Traits - Siblings and Offspring of Centenarians
Author: Boston University
Synopsis and Key Points:
Personality traits associated with healthy aging and longevity amongst the children of centenarians.
Main DigestResearchers from Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) New England Centenarian Study have noted specific personality traits associated with healthy aging and longevity amongst the children of centenarians.
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) New England Centenarian Study have noted specific personality traits associated with healthy aging and longevity amongst the children of centenarians.
The work was conducted in collaboration with scientists from the National Institute on Aging. These findings currently appear on-line in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Previous research on siblings and offspring of centenarians have documented that exceptional longevity runs strongly in families. Studies of the offspring of centenarians showed that their mortality is 120 percent lower than other members of their birth cohort and that they also have markedly lower prevalence rates and delayed onsets of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. Because personality traits have been shown to have substantial heritable components, the researchers hypothesized that certain personality features may be important to the healthy aging observed in the offspring of centenarians.
Using the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) questionnaire, measures of the personality traits for neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were obtained from 246 (125 women and 121 men) unrelated offspring of centenarians with an average age of 75.
Both the male and female offspring of centenarians scored in the low range of published norms for neuroticism and in the high range for extraversion. The women also scored comparatively high in agreeableness. Otherwise, both sexes scored within normal range for conscientiousness and openness, and the men scored within normal range for agreeableness.
According to the researchers, personality traits in the offspring of centenarians appear to have distinctive characteristics that may have important implications for their longevity. "Interestingly, whereas men and women generally differ substantially in their personality characteristics, the male and female offspring tended to be similar, which speaks to the importance of these traits, irrespective of gender, for health aging and longevity.
It's likely that the low neuroticism and higher extraversion will confer health benefits for these subjects," said senior author Thomas Perls, MD, MPH, director of the New England Centenarian Study. "For example, people who are lower in neuroticism are able to manage or regulate stressful situations more effectively than those with higher neuroticism levels. Similarly, high extraversion levels have been associated with establishing friendships and looking after yourself," he said.
Perl's added, "These findings suggest that personality is an important characteristic to include in studies that assess genetic and environmental determinants of longevity. Such studies are currently underway."
Reference: This study was supported in part by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA): K-24, AG025727 (TP), K23 AG026754 (Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar in Aging Award, DT), and the Intramural Research Program of the NIA.
- 1 - Nearly 50% of Seniors Go Without Essentials During Pandemic : The Senior Citizens League (2020/07/22)
- 2 - Understanding Ageism Discrimination : Umea University (2016/02/29)
- 3 - Senior Americans Deserve Fairer COLA Payments : The Senior Citizens League (2016/10/19)
- 4 - New Year Resolutions for Grandparents : Disabled World (2009/01/02)
- 5 - Things Seniors Can No Longer Manage to Do : John T Jones, Ph.D. (2009/03/23)
- 6 - Older Americans and the Recession Crisis : University of Michigan (2009/09/17)
- 7 - Educating Elderly Regarding Prevention of Falling : Balanced for Life Program (2010/09/24)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.
• Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.