Personality as a predictor of dietary quality in spouses during midlife

Beverly H. Brummett, Ilene C. Siegler, R. Sue Day, Paul T. Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors evaluated the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R) as a predictor of dietary quality in 850 married couples, focusing on associations among each participant's personality as a predictor of their own dietary quality and their spouses' dietary quality. Diet was based on a modified version of the US Department of Agriculture Healthy Eating Index. Openness was associated with self-ratings of dietary quality for wives (r = .28) and husbands (r = .27). Wives' levels of the characteristic openness were also related to their spouses' ratings of dietary quality (r = .22). The primary facets of openness accounting for the domain-level findings were O2-aesthetics and O4-actions. The remaining personality domains (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) were not associated with self or spousal ratings of dietary quality (rs = .08-.09). Openness was associated with healthy eating habits - findings that may affect disease prevention during midlife.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Diet
  • NEO-PI-R
  • Personality
  • Spouses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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