Personality and Health: Reviewing Recent Research and Setting a Directive for the Future

Patrick L. Hill, Brent W Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For decades, researchers have noted the importance of understanding how individual differences influence health and well-being. Toward this end, studies have consistently supported the role of personality variables, such as traits, motives, and goals, as informative for predicting current and future health outcomes. While initial work along this front focused solely on the “direct effects” of personality dispositions on health, more recent work has focused on understanding the pathways by which this influence occurs, as well as the extent to which personality effects get “under the skin” and predict physiological markers. Given the changing contexts and behaviors that influence health, as well as the developmental specificity of certain disorders and illnesses, research on personality and health cannot operate without acknowledgment of the aging process. In other words, researchers must actively consider the effects of personality on health through the lens of lifespan developmental theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Psychology of Aging, Eighth Edition
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780124114692
ISBN (Print)9780124115231
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Personality
  • aging
  • health
  • healthy living
  • personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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