Mature and Calm Teens Have Lesser Mortality Risk, Says Study

Personality traits of children in their adolescence is linked to their mortality risk. 

Published21 Nov 2018, 08:22 AM IST
Health News
2 min read

A simple survey among parents will reveal one of their biggest dreads: their children entering teenage. The hormonal changes constantly happening in children in these ages makes it the most volatile, susceptible and impressionable phase of their lives. Naturally, parents and teachers are advised to be extra cautious in their dealings with and behavior in front of teenagers.

A study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, gives more reasons to believe in the importance of these sensitive years, by showing that later life mortality risk is associated with personality traits measured much earlier in life.

The researchers drew data from over 370000 students from a sample of 1226 American secondary schools, from 1960 to 2009, covering almost 48 years. The students were made to answer questionnaires and underwent psychological tests to obtain the results.

The study revealed that certain personality factors contributed to a lesser risk of morality.

Those scoring higher in vigour, social sensitivity, calm, tidiness, culture and maturity – and lower in impulsiveness during high school enjoyed lower relative risk of mortality over the subsequent half century.

The study linked lifestyle with personality traits and showed how certain traits can lead to poor lifestyle choices.

Life course mechanisms linking personality to poorer health outcomes include the adoption of poor health behaviours and long-term effects of wear and tear on the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Mal adaptive traits also appear to limit later educational attainment, impede mid-life occupational advancement and increase risk of divorce– social and socioeconomic factors that are further linked to later health.

The findings from the study indicate the crucial need for interventions, policies and programmes aimed at cultivating adaptive personality tendencies in adolescent years.

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