Smoking mediates the effect of conscientiousness on mortality: The Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study

Nicholas A. Turiano*, Patrick L. Hill, Brent W. Roberts, Avron Spiro, Daniel K. Mroczek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-724
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2012

Keywords

  • Conscientiousness
  • Longevity
  • Mediation
  • Mortality
  • Personality
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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