Associations between Major Domains of Personality and Health Behavior


  • This report was previously published as Naval Health Research Center Technical Report 91-34. The work was supported by the Naval Medical Research and Development Command, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, under Research Work Unit MR04101.00A-6004, and by the Office of Naval Research under Work Request ONR.WR.24030. The views presented are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Navy or Department of Defense. The authors thank Linda Hervig for help in preparing this article.

concerning this article can be directed to either Stephanie Booth-Kewley, Code 12, Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, San Diego, CA 92152-6800, or Ross R. Vickers, Jr., Cognitive Performance and Psychophysiology Department, PO Box 85122, San Diego, CA 92186-5122.


ABSTRACT Broad personality traits may be important predictors of health behavior patterns. Two studies are reported which examined the associations between five major personality dimensions and four major health behavior dimensions. Prior associations between health behaviors and neurotic and extraverted personality tendencies generally were replicated. However, Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, two domains of personality that have received little research attention, emerged as important personality predictors of health behaviors. The results indicate that personality is a reliable predictor of health behavior patterns. It is suggested that the importance of personality has been underestimated in past research by the failure to consider appropriate health behavior criteria and the omission of important personality dimensions, such as Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, when studying health behavior patterns.