This study examined the relationship between conscientiousness and mortality over 18years and whether smoking behavior mediated this relationship. We utilized data from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study on 1349 men who completed the Goldberg (1992) adjectival markers of the Big Five. Over the 18-year follow-up, 547 (41%) participants died. Through proportional hazards modeling in a structural equation modeling framework, we found that higher levels of conscientiousness significantly predicted longer life, and that this effect was mediated by current smoking status at baseline. Methodologically, we also demonstrate the effectiveness of using a structural equation modeling framework to evaluate mediation when using a censored outcome such as mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology