Oregon Research Institute (ORI) scientist Grant W. Edmonds, Ph.D., has received funding from the National Institute of Aging to study the prospective influence of personality traits, particularly Conscientiousness, on telomere length. Edmonds and his team will examine whether trait influences on telomere length are mediated by healthy lifestyle, traumatic life events, and physical health.
Edmonds will use data collected from the participants in the Hawaii Longitudinal Study of Personality and Health. The Hawaii sample provides a unique opportunity because of the comprehensive teacher assessments of participants' childhood personality traits at age 10, and a rich array of personality, psychosocial, lifestyle, and objective physical health variables obtained subsequently when participants were followed-up at midlife. These include measures of healthy lifestyle (e.g., diet, physical activity, tobacco use), trauma experiences reported for different periods of life, clinical biomarkers of physical health and stored bio-specimens obtained at a baseline exam at age 50. A repeat 10-year follow-up clinical assessment of physical health at age 60 is currently underway.
"There is potential to significantly impact public health through interventions that promote healthful personality traits and related behaviors," says ORI Administrative Director Byron J. Glidden. "This is an innovative approach to understanding the relation between personality and health over the lifespan."
This research is funded by the National Institute of Aging (NIA) grant number: R21 AG045015.
Oregon Research Institute is a non-profit, independent behavioral research center with headquarters in Eugene. Founded in 1960, it also has offices in Portland, Oregon and Albuquerque, New Mexico.