Conscientiousness and health-related behaviors: A meta-analysis of the leading behavioral contributors to mortality

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Previous research has established conscientiousness as a predictor of longevity (H. S. Friedman et al., 1993; L. R. Martin & H. S. Friedman, 2000). To better understand this relationship, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of conscientiousness-related traits and the leading behavioral contributors to mortality in the United States (tobacco use, diet and activity patterns, excessive alcohol use, violence, risky sexual behavior, risky driving, suicide, and drug use). Data sources were located by combining conscientiousness-related terms and relevant health-related behavior terms in database searches as well as by retrieving dissertations and requesting unpublished data from electronic mailing lists. The resulting database contained 194 studies that were quantitatively synthesized. Results showed that conscientiousness-related traits were negatively related to all risky health-related behaviors and positively related to all beneficial health-related behaviors. This study demonstrates the importance of conscientiousness' contribution to the health process through its relationship to health-related behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-919
Number of pages33
JournalPsychological bulletin
Volume130
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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