Personality, menopausal symptoms, and physical activity outcomes in middle-aged women

Steriani Elavsky, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The menopausal transition is characterized by increased reporting of various symptoms, however, little is known about what underlies individual differences in their reporting. The present study examined the contribution of personality factors to the reporting of menopausal symptoms in the context of a 4-month randomized controlled exercise trial. Symptomatic middle-aged women (N = 164, M age = 49.9, SD = 3.6) completed measures of menopausal symptoms, personality, physical activity, fitness and body composition assessment at the beginning and end of a 4-month randomized controlled trial involving walking and yoga. After controlling for baseline values, psychological symptoms at the end of the trial were associated with trait anxiety (β = .47, p < .001) and changes in fitness (β = -.20, p < .01); vasomotor symptoms with optimism (β = -.18, p < .05) and changes in fitness (β = -.15, p = .053); and sexual symptoms were associated with changes in fitness (β = -.16, p < .05). Personality characteristics partially explain symptom reports during menopause however improvements in physical parameters such as fitness may reduce reported symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Exercise
  • Fitness
  • Hot flashes
  • Menopause
  • Personality
  • Physical activity
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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