Objective: Conscientious individuals experience better physical health, in part because of their greater propensity to behave in ways that maintain wellness. In the current study we examined whether and how adherence mediates the relation between conscientiousness and physical health. Moreover, we examined whether these effects differed for adhering to doctor's orders (doctor adherence) versus adhering to medication regimens (medication adherence), as the latter is likely more relevant for older adults' health. Method: A nationwide sample of adults (N = 2,136, M age = 51 years) completed personality and adherence measures, in addition to a self-report measure of perceived general health, in an online survey. Correlational analyses were performed to examine the basic relations between the constructs of interest. A bootstrapping approach was employed for examining whether the indirect effect through adherence was conditional on age. Results: Doctor adherence partially mediated the relation between conscientiousness and perceived health across adulthood. However, the indirect effect of medication adherence was conditional on age, insofar that medication adherence mediated the link between conscientiousness and perceived health only for older adults in the sample (i.e., those around age 51 and over). Conclusion: These results suggest that although conscientious individuals report higher levels of both doctor and medication adherence, the role of adherence in explaining the link between conscientiousness and health may differ across adulthood.
- Conditional indirect effects models
- Health behaviors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health