Quality of Life Research

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1477–1486 | Cite as

Daily activities mediate the relationship between personality and quality of life in middle-aged women

  • Mona Eklund
  • Martin Bäckström
  • Lauren Lissner
  • Cecilia Björkelund
  • Ulla Sonn



The aim of this study was to test a model proposing that the relationship between personality factors and women’s quality of life (QoL) is mediated by degree of depression and the way in which every day activity and general health were appraised. Specifically, the paper addressed the mediating contribution of activity.


A sample of 488 women, 38 or 50 years old, filled out questionnaires regarding the target variables. The personality traits measured were extraversion and neuroticism, and the activity aspect addressed was the value linked with everyday activities. Additionally, general health and depressive state was rated. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.


A model was found where health, activity and depressive state mediated the association between personality and QoL. Health explained in total nearly 30% of the variation in QoL. Activity predicted 12% of the variance in QoL, partly as a unique factor and partly mediated by depressive state and health. Extraversion was linked to QoL only through activity, and neuroticism through depressive state and health.


Our analysis supported that there was a link between personality and QoL and that perceived general health was an important contributor to QoL. Moreover, it contributed new knowledge regarding the importance of valued and satisfying activities. If this proves to be a consistent finding in future studies, including intervention research, monitoring women’s daily activities might be a pathway to improved QoL.


Neuroticism Extraversion Occupational value Depression Self-rated health Well-being 



We are grateful to Ph.D. Carita Håkansson who administered and performed parts of the data collection. This work was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (EpiLife, WISH), and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mona Eklund
    • 1
  • Martin Bäckström
    • 2
  • Lauren Lissner
    • 3
  • Cecilia Björkelund
    • 4
  • Ulla Sonn
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Occupational Therapy and Gerontology, Department of Health SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.Public Health Epidemiology Unit (EPI), Department of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Primary Health Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  5. 5.Section of Geriatrics, Department of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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