Do depressive traits and hostility predict age-related decline in general intelligence?

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Certain personality traits are likely to be associated with stress and distress through the lifespan, and as a consequence these traits may influence the rate of age-related cognitive decline. The present study uses data from the Glostrup 1914 cohort to analyze potential effects of personality on decline in general intelligence over a 30-year period. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was administered at a 50-year baseline exam, and from this inventory the Obvious Depression Scale and an abbreviated version of the Cook-Medley Hostility Scale were derived. At the 50-year baseline and at the 60-, 70-, and 80-year followups the full version of Wechsler's Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was administered to 673, 513, 136, and 184 participants. Mixed effects statistical models were used to evaluate both the effect of the personality scores on level of intelligence and the interaction between the personality scores and the time since followup. Analyses were adjusted for demographic background and a wide range of lifestyle factors. Both obvious depression and hostility were negatively associated with level of intelligence, but personality scores did not influence rate of decline in general intelligence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Aging Research
Pages (from-to)973121
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 41851521