A Multi-method Investigation of the Personality Correlates of Functional Ability in Older Adults

Marissa A. Gogniat, Courtland S. Hyatt, Kharine R. Jean, Violeta J. Rodriguez, Talia L. Robinson, Lloyd Stephen Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study evaluated the role of personality in predicting functional ability (FA) in older adults using self-report, collateral report, and performance-based measures of FA. Methods: Participants included older adults (N = 131) who completed a personality measure (NEO-FFI), a self-report of FA (OARS ADL), and participated in a performance-based assessment of FA (DAFS-R). In addition, each participant had a collateral complete a collateral report of FA (OARS ADL). Bivariate correlations were computed to assess how Five Factor Model traits were related to self-report, collateral, and performance-based measures of FA. Results: Neuroticism was negatively related to self-reported FA (r = − .27) and collateral-reported FA (r = − .18) and Conscientiousness was positively related to self-reported FA (r = .25). None of the traits were significantly related to the performance-based measure of FA. Conclusions: These results suggest that personality traits can impact self-reported FA in older adults and underscore the importance of assessing FA in older adults using multiple methods, particularly performance-based measures. Clinical Implications: Clinicians should consider how personality may impact FA in older adults and multiple methods of FA performance should be examined to better tailor recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Five Factor Model
  • Functional Ability
  • Multi-method assessment
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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