Associations between repression, general maladjustment, body weight, and body shape in older males: The normative aging study

Raymond S. Niaura*, Laura R. Stroud, John Todaro, Kenneth D. Ward, Avron Spiro, Carolyn Aldwin, Lewis Landsberg, Scott T. Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


We examined relationships between repression, general maladjustment, body mass Index (BMI), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). The participants were 1,081 healthy older men from the Normative Aging Study. Repression and General Maladjustment Scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory were composite measures of personality. Repression was associated with lower BMI and WHR, and maladjustment with higher BMI and WHR. However, associations between WHR and personality dimensions were no longer significant when controlling for BMI, but associations between BMI and personality dimensions remained significant when controlling for WHR. These effects were explained by differing relationships between WHR, repression, and maladjustment for normal weight, overweight, and obese individuals. Specifically, associations between repression, maladjustment, and body shape were significant for normal weight and overweight individuals, but not for obese individuals. Health behaviors including smoking did not mediate relationships between repression, maladjustment, and body shape, but might be considered in future studies as mechanisms underlying links between personality and body shape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-238
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003



  • Body mass index
  • Body shape
  • Maladjustment
  • Personality
  • Repression
  • Waist-hip ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

Cite this