Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Personality, well-being, and health*

  • Author(s): Friedman, HS
  • Kern, ML
  • et al.
Abstract

A lifespan perspective on personality and health uncovers new causal pathways and provides a deeper, more nuanced approach to interventions. It is unproven that happiness is a direct cause of good health or that negative emotion, worry, and depression are significant direct causes of disease. Instead, depression-related characteristics are likely often reflective of an already-deteriorating trajectory. It is also unproven that challenging work in a demanding environment usually brings long-term health risks; on the contrary, individual strivings for accomplishment and persistent dedication to one's career or community often are associated with sizeable health benefits. Overall, a substantial body of recent research reveals that conscientiousness plays a very significant role in health, with implications across the lifespan. Much more caution is warranted before policy makers offer narrow health recommendations based on short-term or correlational findings. Attention should be shifted to individual trajectories and pathways to health and well-being. © Copyright ©2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View