Superintendencia de Salud, Chile
Title: Personality factors and self-perceived health in Chilean elderly population
Biography: Pedro Olivares Tirado
Statement of the Problem: Empirical evidence suggests that the stability of personality itself contributes to successful ageing and is associated with a longer life. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between personality traits and the self-perceived health status (SPH), stratified by medical conditions in a representative sample of non-institutionalized elderly people in Chile.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: The data used come from the fourth waves (2009) of the Chilean Social Protection Survey. The samples were 2,655 subjects aged 65 and over. Personality trait was measured with the TIPI Questionnaire and SPH, was assessed with a Likert-scale item question based on EU-SILC question on self-perceived health. SPH variable was aggregated into two categories: good health (i.e., excellent, very good and good) and poor health (i.e., poor and very poor). Fair category was excluded. MANOVA was used for statistical analysis.
Findings: Higher scores of all 5-personality factors were associated with good health. Perception of poor health was associated with female, lower education level and aged people. Extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness, showed a significant associations with SPH, among elderly with medical conditions. Conversely, a significant association with SPH among elderly without medical problems, was demonstrated for, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability.
Conclusion & Significance: A consistent association between personality factors and SPH throughout the elderly people was demonstrated. We suggest that extraversion and openness traits could be acting as protector factors and agreeableness and conscientiousness traits as resilient factors, facing to the health problems among elderly people