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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.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common medical condition where the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. This can lead to a range of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. High blood pressure often does not have any noticeable symptoms, which is why it is sometimes called the "silent killer."

The causes of high blood pressure are not always clear, but several factors can increase the risk of developing the condition. These include age, family history, obesity, a high-sodium diet, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and sleep apnea, can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Treatment for high blood pressure typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Lifestyle changes that can help reduce blood pressure include following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing salt intake, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking. Medications such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers can also be prescribed to lower blood pressure.

It is important for individuals with high blood pressure to monitor their blood pressure regularly and to work with their healthcare provider to manage the condition. This may involve taking medications as prescribed, making lifestyle changes, and monitoring for potential side effects of medication. In some cases, multiple medications may be needed to control blood pressure effectively.

Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. It is important for individuals to take steps to manage their blood pressure and to seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or shortness of breath.

In conclusion, high blood pressure is a common and serious medical condition that can lead to a range of health problems. It is important for individuals to take steps to reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure, and to work with their healthcare provider to manage the condition if it is diagnosed. With proper treatment and management, individuals with high blood pressure can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Health: Three Reasons Why You Should Lose Weight

Are you a woman who is struggling with your weight? If you are, you are definitely not alone. Today, many women are faced with many issues, including weight. If you are unhappy with your current weight, you may be interested in changing it, but, for many, that is often easier said than done.

When it comes to losing weight, many women are able to come up with an unlimited number of excuses as to why they can’t lose weight or excuses as to why this important issue should be pushed off to the side for now. Many women are lacking the motivation needed to lose weight. If you are one of those women, you will want to continue reading on. Below, three reasons as to why you should lose weight are outlined and these reasons may serve as the motivation that you have been looking for

#1 – Appearance

Although many women are satisfied with the way that they look, many are not. If you are currently unhappy with the way that you look and feel, you will want to consider losing weight. Weight loss, even a small one, can significantly improve the way that you see yourself, as well as the way that others see you. If you hate looking at yourself in the mirror every morning, it may be time to think about losing weight.

#2 – Health

For many women, being overweight or obese isn’t just about carrying around a few extra pounds. Obesity has been linked to a number of health complications, including high blood pressure, diabetes, as well as the early onset of death. If you do not take steps to lose weight now, especially if you are seriously overweight, your health may have other plans for you. It is important to mention that those plans may not necessarily be good ones.

#3 Wellbeing

In addition to benefiting your health and your physical appearance, weight loss can also make you feel good about yourself. Many women notice an instant improvement in their self-confidence and self-esteem when they lose weight. This means that even if you are suffering from other issues, aside from weight-related issues, weight loss may be able to assist you with overcoming those issues or at least the stress that is associated with them.

The three above mentioned reasons are just a few of the many reasons why you may want to think about losing weight if you have weight to lose. Should you decide that losing weight is in your best interest, you may want to think about making an appointment with a healthcare professional. These types of appointments are important, as well as insightful. Your healthcare professional may be able to instruct you in safe ways that you can go about losing weight and they may also be able to help you set reasonable weight loss goals for yourself.

Although it is advised that you speak with a healthcare professional about your intent to lose weight, you don’t have to just rely on their expertise or their input. A large number of women, just like you, lose weight by joining locally operated weight loss programs, as well as online weight loss programs. What is nice about weight loss programs, both those operated locally and online, is that you often walk away with professional advice, as well as support from others just like you.