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Understanding personality for decision-making, longevity, and mental health
Date:1/17/2013

er cholesterol. The study builds on past work showing that more conscientious children live longer.

The data come from more than 2,000 elementary school children in Hawaii who received personality assessments in the 1960s. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Aging, researchers were able to complete medical and psychological examinations for 60% of the original group, who, as adults, agreed to further studies starting in 1998. They found that the children rated by their teachers as less conscientious had worse health status as adults, particularly for their cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

The work could point the way to childhood interventions, Hampson says. "Parents and schools shape personality, and this is our opportunity to support the development of conscientiousness planfulness, ability to delay gratification, self-control." She adds: "Society depends on such pro-social, self-regulated behavior."

Personality to evaluate mental health care

In the mental health community, researchers have known for some time that personality can greatly influence how patients respond to particular treatments. But until recently, the guidebook for treating mental illnesses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has not fully incorporated such personality data.

"The influence of personality psychology has increased as it offers tools and methods that are relevant to solving problems in psychiatric classification, such as ways of developing models of differences among people that are based on data as opposed to clinical speculation," says Robert Krueger of the University of Minnesota, who helped update the soon-to-be-published DSM-5.

"DSM-5 contains a model of personality traits that derives from work in personality psychology and recognizes that specific peoples' personalities can't easily be placed in categorical boxes," he explains. Usin
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Contact: Lisa M.P. Munoz
spsp.publicaffairs@gmail.com
703-951-3195
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Source:Eurekalert

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