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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Integrating prospective longitudinal data: Modeling personality and health in the terman life cycle and Hawaii longitudinal studies

  • Author(s): Kern, ML
  • Hampson, SE
  • Goldberg, LR
  • Friedman, HS
  • et al.

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© 2012 American Psychological Association. The present study used a collaborative framework to integrate 2 long-term prospective studies: the Terman Life Cycle Study and the Hawaii Personality and Health Longitudinal Study. Within a 5-factor personality-trait framework, teacher assessments of child personality were rationally and empirically aligned to establish similar factor structures across samples. Comparable items related to adult self-rated health, education, and alcohol use were harmonized, and data were pooled on harmonized items. A structural model was estimated as a multigroup analysis. Harmonized child personality factors were then used to examine markers of physiological dysfunction in the Hawaii sample and mortality risk in the Terman sample. Harmonized conscientiousness predicted less physiological dysfunction in the Hawaii sample and lower mortality risk in the Terman sample. These results illustrate how collaborative, integrative work with multiple samples offers the exciting possibility that samples from different cohorts and ages can be linked together to directly test life span theories of personality and health.

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