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Allostatic Load and Personality

Title: Allostatic Load and Personality: A 4-Year Longitudinal Study.
Name(s): Stephan, Yannick, author
Sutin, Angelina R, author
Luchetti, Martina, author
Terracciano, Antonio, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-04-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Dysregulation across multiple physiological systems, referred to as allostatic load, has pervasive consequences for an individual's health. The present study examined whether allostatic load is associated with personality and personality changes during a 4-year follow-up. A total of 5200 participants aged from 50 to 99 years (59.5% women, mean [standard deviation] age = 66.91 [8.88] years) from the Health and Retirement Study provided data on cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune markers at baseline and personality both at baseline and at 4 years later. Higher allostatic load was related to higher neuroticism (β = 0.03, p = .042), lower extraversion (β = -0.06, p < .001), and lower conscientiousness (β = -0.06, p < .001) at baseline, and to declines in extraversion (β = -0.03, p = .007), conscientiousness (β = -0.04, p < .001), and agreeableness (β = -0.02, p = .020) over the 4-year period, controlling for demographic covariates. A significant quadratic relation between allostatic load and changes in openness (β = -0.03, p = .002) suggested that openness declines when individuals exceed a high level of cumulative physiological dysregulation. No association was found with changes in neuroticism. Allostatic load is associated with personality change across adulthood and old age. The findings indicate that physiological dysregulation across multiple systems challenges personality stability and is associated with accelerated personality traits change.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_26716813 (IID), 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000281 (DOI), PMC5481782 (PMCID), 26716813 (RID), 26716813 (EID)
Grant Number: R03 AG051960
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Anxiety Disorders
Extraversion (Psychology)
Longitudinal Studies
Middle Aged
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Psychosomatic medicine.
Issue: iss. 3, vol. 78

Choose the citation style.
Stephan, Y., Sutin, A. R., Luchetti, M., & Terracciano, A. (2016). Allostatic Load and Personality: A 4-Year Longitudinal Study. Psychosomatic Medicine. Retrieved from