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Personality, satisfaction linked throughout adult lifespan

  • Personality

Certain traits related to satisfaction in life regardless of age, study says

Read the journal article

  • The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan (PDF, 537KB)

WASHINGTON — Certain personality traits are associated with satisfaction in life, and despite the changes people may experience in social roles and responsibilities over the course of their adult lives, that association is stable regardless of age, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Many studies have shown that people with certain personality profiles are more satisfied with their life than others. Yet, it had not been extensively studied whether this holds true across the lifespan. For example, extraverted—that is sociable, talkative—people might be particularly happy in young adulthood, when they typically are forming new social relationships,” said study co-author Gabriel Olaru, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University. “We thus wanted to examine if some personality traits are more or less relevant to life, social and work satisfaction in specific life phases.”

The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

To determine how the relationship between personality traits and life satisfaction changes over time, researchers analyzed data collected from 2008 to 2019 by the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS) panel survey, a nationally representative survey of households in the Netherlands. Over 11 years, 9,110 Dutch participants ranging from 16 to 95 years old at the time of the first survey answered multiple questionnaires to assess their Big Five personality traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability/neuroticism—and their satisfaction with their social connections and their life overall. Only the 5,928 participants who were employed at the time of the survey also answered questions about their satisfaction with their work lives.

The researchers found that most of the relationships between personality traits and satisfaction remained the same across the adult lifespan, and that emotional stability was the trait most strongly associated with people’s satisfaction with their life, social connections and career.

“Our findings show that – despite differences in life challenges and social roles – personality traits are relevant for our satisfaction with life, work and social contacts across young, middle and older adulthood,” said Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, an assistant professor at Tilburg University and another co-author on the study. “The personality traits remained equally relevant across the adult lifespan, or became even more interconnected in some cases for work satisfaction.”

The researchers also found that different personality traits were related to people’s satisfaction with their social lives and careers—most notably conscientiousness for work satisfaction, and extraversion and agreeableness for social satisfaction. People who saw increases in these traits across time also reported increases in their life, social and work satisfaction.

People’s satisfaction with their work was the most affected by differences in age. As participants in the study aged, the relationship between career satisfaction and emotional stability grew moderately stronger.

Despite a weaker correlation between openness and life satisfaction overall, the researchers found that people who increased in openness also increased in life satisfaction across the 11 years measured by the LISS survey. This relationship may be explained by indirect processes, according to the researchers.

“Emotional stability likely shows a strong link with global and domain-specific satisfaction because this trait colors people’s general view of the world,” Olaru said.

“A good example of how personality interacts with the environment can be found in the work context. One of our findings was that the link between emotional stability and work satisfaction increases across age. This might be explained by the fact that emotionally stable people are less scared to quit unsatisfactory jobs and more likely to apply for jobs that are more challenging and perhaps more fulfilling and enjoyable in the long run,” van Scheppingen added.

Future studies should examine how variables that change with age, such as income, employment status, marital status and health, affect the relationship between personality traits and overall satisfaction with life, according to the researchers.

“While we did not examine what caused these changes, [the research] shows that our personalities and our happiness are not set in stone,” van Scheppingen said. “Perhaps we may even be able to influence how we change: If we try to become more organized, outgoing, friendly, this might increase life, social or work satisfaction as well.”

Article: “The Link Between Personality, Global, and Domain-Specific Satisfaction Across the Adult Lifespan,” by Gabriel Olaru, PhD, and Manon van Scheppingen, PhD, Tilburg University, Wiebke Bleidorn, PhD, University of Zurich, and Jaap Denissen, PhD, Utrecht University. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online March 20, 2023.

Introduction

Nearly 7% of the world population is obese1 and about 66% of the adults in the United States are overweight or obese.2 Obesity is associated with a number of adverse medical conditions including increased risk of gallbladder disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease (CHD), osteoarthritis, cancer death and reduced life expectancy.38 Obesity is also associated with adverse social and psychological consequences, including bias, discrimination and decreased quality of life.9,10

More effective treatment strategies are urgently needed for obesity management. The total caloric intake or energy density of one’s diet appears to be associated with obesity1114 and a diet that induces a negative energy balance continues to be an important part of obesity management. Strategies to achieve the difficult task of eating less than desired include reduction of the energy density of foods by increasing food volume by the addition of fluids,15,16 bulk1719 or their combination;20 or by increasing satiety by various anorectic drugs or macronutrient combinations of high satiety value.

Satiety is positively associated with the protein, fiber and water content of foods and negatively with fat and palatability ratings.21,22 However, within food groups, there may be as much as a twofold difference in satiety values, suggesting that certain foods promote greater satiety independent of macronutrient content or energy density. An egg is an example of such a food that has a 50% greater satiety index compared to white bread or ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.21 Compared to an isocaloric bagel breakfast of equal weight, an egg breakfast had a greater satiating effect, which translated into a lower caloric intake at lunch.23 The resulting decrease in energy consumption lasted for at least 24 h after the egg breakfast.

This study was undertaken to exploit the short-term satiating benefits of an egg breakfast23 for weight loss in a longer-term trial. The objectives were to determine if the incorporation of an egg breakfast in the diet by overweight or obese subjects would (1) induce reduced energy intake and unintentional weight loss, even when not attempting weight reduction; or (2) enhance weight loss when following a reduced energy diet. We compared the effects of an egg vs isocaloric bagel breakfast of equal weight on weight loss, indices of body size and composition, dietary compliance, food cravings and health-specific quality of life.Materials and methods

The study was approved by the institutional review boards at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and at Saint Louis University. Written informed consent was obtained from the participants. We certify that all applicable institutional and governmental regulations regarding the ethical use of human volunteers were followed during this research.

Participants

Of the 160 participants enrolled, 8 did not complete the trial. The final study sample included 152 participants (131 women and 21 men; mean age 45.0±9.4 years; black participants 47.7% and white participants 52.3%). Demographic characteristics of the participants are provided inTable 1

The Top 7 Insider Tips For Menstrual Pain

Published on 10/27/2022
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Your period is approaching and you are getting more and more weak. Discomfort, circulatory problems, abdominal cramps and even chills – many women suffer from sometimes very severe menstrual cramps once a month. We present you our 7 insider tips against menstrual pain.

The Top 7 Insider Tips For Menstrual Pain

Sport, Exercise

Many women find the contraction of muscles to be uncomfortable or even painful. The muscle contraction reduces the blood supply to the uterus or abdomen, which causes additional pain. Studies have shown that exercise can help reduce both the intensity and duration of period pain. This applies both to light physical activity during menstruation and to regular training. Those who exercise more often can reduce their menstrual cramps. Even light physical activity during the period can help against pain. For example, try yoga, cycling, or a walk.

Change Your Diet

A study by BMC Women’s Health looked at how diet affects menstrual pain. Researchers found that eating lots of sweet and salty snacks, desserts, as well as coffee, salt, fruit juices and added fat increased your chances of moderate to severe menstrual cramps 3 to 4 times. In general, eat a healthy, balanced diet to prevent cramps. You should avoid alcohol and nicotine.

Saying No

Two weeks ago (when you were fit as a fiddle, just before you ovulated) you arranged the mega meeting with all your friends and now you are absolutely not in the mood for it? You have tickets for the super concert but the thought of it just stresses you out? Then just say no. Stress pushes menstrual problems so stay cool and say no! That’s a promise: the world keeps turning, even if you log out of everyday life during your period. By the way: In the weeks after the period, women are then three times as productive as before!

Magnesium

The muscle contractions to break down the mucous membrane consume a lot of magnesium, which we feel when our inner pig bitch always asks us the same question: “Where can I get something sweet asap?”. This is a misunderstanding: by craving something sweet, our body is simply telling us that it wants to replenish its magnesium stores. And he does this best with bananas, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, linseed or raspberries.

Good News For Chocoholics

Chocolate is not bad per se – you should only avoid the sugar in chocolate. Cocoa itself, on the other hand, has many antioxidants and therefore has an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effect due to the magnesium it contains. A piece of dark chocolate is therefore highly recommended, but the cocoa content should be at least 70%.

Tea

Many herbs have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. Prepared as a tea, they can help against menstrual pain. These include, for example, teas with yarrow, cinquefoil, lady’s mantle, verbena, nettle and chaste tree (see above).

Movement and Correct Breathing

Yes, exercising during menstruation is not as impossible as it sometimes feels. Sometimes cramps and tension are caused by a lack of physical activity, which causes tension to build up. Incomplete breathing and lack of exercise prevent the body from “adjusting” itself. The resulting tension is absorbed by the ovaries, making them immobile and rigid. If the tension is too great, the body tries to compensate with unsuitable muscles and nerves. This leads to pain and cycle disorders.