Personality and reduced incidence of walking limitation in late life: Findings from the health, aging, and body composition study

Magdalena I. Tolea, Luigi Ferrucci, Paul T. Costa, Kimberly Faulkner, Caterina Rosano, Suzanne Satterfield, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Eleanor M. Simonsick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. To examine the association between openness to experience and conscientiousness and incident reported walking limitation.Method. The study population consisted of 786 men and women aged 71-81 years (M = 75 years, SD = 2.7) participating in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition-Cognitive Vitality Substudy.Results. Nearly 20% of participants (155/786) developed walking limitation during 6 years of follow-up. High openness was associated with a reduced risk of walking limitation (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.69-0.98), independent of sociodemographic factors, health conditions, and conscientiousness. This association was not mediated by lifestyle factors and was not substantially modified by other risk factors for functional disability. Conscientiousness was not associated with risk of walking limitation (HR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.77-1.07).Discussion. Findings suggest that personality dimensions, specifically higher openness to experience, may contribute to functional resilience in late life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-719
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume67 B
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Conscientiousness
  • Functional limitations
  • Openness to experience
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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