Personality nuances and risk of dementia: Evidence from two longitudinal studies.

TitlePersonality nuances and risk of dementia: Evidence from two longitudinal studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsStephan, Y, Sutin, AR, Mõttus, R, Luchetti, M, Aschwanden, D, Terracciano, A
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
ISSN Number1879-1379
KeywordsAging, Dementia, Nuances, Personality

Personality traits are broad constructs composed of nuances, operationalized by personality items, that can provide a more granular understanding of personality associations with health outcomes. This study examined the associations between personality nuances and incident dementia and evaluated whether nuances associations replicate across two samples. Health and Retirement Study (HRS, N = 11,400) participants were assessed in 2006/2008, and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA, N = 7453) participants were assessed in 2010/2011 on personality and covariates. Dementia incidence was tracked for 14 years in the HRS and 8 years in ELSA. In both HRS and ELSA, higher neuroticism domain and nuances (particularly nervous and worry) were related to a higher risk of incident dementia, whereas higher conscientiousness domain and nuances (particularly responsibility and organization) were associated with a lower risk of dementia. To a lesser extent, higher extraversion (active), openness (broad-minded, curious, and imaginative), and agreeableness (helpful, warm, caring, and sympathetic) nuances were associated with a lower risk of dementia, with replicable effects across the two samples. A poly-nuance score, aggregating the effects of personality items, was associated with an increased risk of incident dementia in the HRS and ELSA, with effect sizes slightly stronger than those of the personality domains. Clinical, behavioral, psychological, and genetic covariates partially accounted for these associations. The present study provides novel and replicable evidence for specific personality characteristics associated with the risk of incident dementia.

Citation Key13932
PubMed ID38696946