Advertisement

Relation of state Alzheimer’s prevalence to state resident Big Five personality in the USA

  • Stewart J. H. McCannEmail author
Article

Abstract

Research results with individuals as the analytical units linking Alzheimer’s disease risk to personality provided the foundation for the present study. Conducted from the geographical psychology perspective, the research determined relations between Alzheimer’s disease prevalence in each of the 50 American states in 2015 and the state modal Big Five personality profiles provided by a previous large-scale survey of 619,397 residents. Three state socioeconomic status (SES) elements, White population percent, urban population percent, health environment, and a health and disease composite served as statistical controls in some analyses. Higher neuroticism was associated significantly with greater Alzheimer’s prevalence. According to the Pearson correlation with no statistical controls, neuroticism accounted for 19.7% of the criterion variance. With the seven state demographic variables and the other four Big Five personality factors statistically controlled, partial correlation showed that neuroticism accounted for 27.1% of the variance, and multiple regression showed that neuroticism accounted for 14.5% of the variance. Extraversion accounted for 15.1% of the Alzheimer’s criterion variance according to the Pearson correlation but showed no significant association in the partial correlation or multiple regression analyses. Openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness did not relate to Alzheimer’s disease prevalence in the present nomothetic state-level research.

Keywords

Alzheimer’s disease Neuroticism Extraversion Personality Health 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The corresponding author states all ethical standards have been followed.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by the author.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was not required for this study.

Conflict of Interest

The corresponding author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Alzheimer’s Association. (2018). Alzheimer’s and dementia. Available online at https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers.
  2. Alzheimer’s Association. (2019). Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Available online at https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures.
  3. Alzheimer’s Association Report. (2015). 2015 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 11, 332–384.Google Scholar
  4. Alzheimer’s Society. (2018). Alzheimer’s disease and genes. Available online at https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/alzheimers-disease-and-genes.
  5. America’s Health Rankings. (2018). America’s health rankings: 2016 annual report. United Health Foundation. Available online at https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Determinants/state/ALL?edition-year=2015.
  6. Archer, N., Brown, R. G., Reeves, S. J., Boothby, H., Nicholas, H., Foy, C., et al. (2007). Premorbid personality and behavioral and psychological symptoms in probable Alzheimer disease. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 15, 202–213.Google Scholar
  7. Barber, N. (2001). Marital opportunity, parental investment, and teen birth rates of blacks and whites in American states. Cross-Cultural Research: The Journal of Comparative Social Science, 35, 263–279.Google Scholar
  8. Barber, N. (2015). Why is Mississippi more religious than New Hampshire? Maternal security and ethnicity as factors. Cross-Cultural Research: The Journal of Comparative Social Science, 49, 315–325.Google Scholar
  9. Breitner, J. C. S., & Costa, P. T. (2003). At my wits' end' neuroticism and dementia. Neurology, 61, 1468–1469.Google Scholar
  10. Caselli, R. J., Dueck, A. C., Locke, D. E. C., Henslin, B. R., Johnson, T. A., Woodruff, B. K., et al. (2016). Impact of personality on cognitive aging: A prospective cohort study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 22, 765–776.Google Scholar
  11. CDC. (September 20, 2018). U.S. burden of Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias to double by 2060. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0920-alzheimers-burden-double-2060.html.
  12. CDC. (2019). Alzheimer's disease mortality by state. National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/alzheimers_mortality/alzheimers_disease.htm.
  13. Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1995). Domains and facets: Hierarchical personality assessment using the revised NEO personality inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 64, 21–50.Google Scholar
  14. Dar-Nimrod, I., Chapman, B. P., Franks, P., Robbins, J., Porsteinsson, A., Mapstone, M., et al. (2012a). Personality factors moderate the associations between apolipoprotein genotype and cognitive function as well as late onset Alzheimer disease. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 1026–1035.Google Scholar
  15. Dar-Nimrod, I., Chapman, B. P., Robbins, J. A., Porsteinsson, A., Mapstone, M., & Duberstein, P. R. (2012b). Gene by neuroticism interaction and cognitive function among older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27, 1147–1154.Google Scholar
  16. de Vries, R. G., Gosling, S., & Potter, J. (2011). Income inequality and personality: Are less equal U.S. states less agreeable? Social Science and Medicine, 72, 1978–1985.Google Scholar
  17. Duberstein, P. R., Chapman, B. P., Tindle, H. A., Sink, K. M., Bamonti, P., Robbins, J., et al. (2011). Personality and risk for Alzheimer's disease in adults 72 years of age and older: A 6-year follow-up. Psychology and Aging, 26, 351–362.Google Scholar
  18. Duron, E., Vidal, J.-S., Bounatiro, S., Ahmed, S. B., Seux, M.-L., Rigaud, A.-S., et al. (2014). Relationships between personality traits, medial temporal lobe atrophy, and white matter lesion in subjects suffering from mild cognitive impairment. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6, ArtID, 195.Google Scholar
  19. Erikson, R. S., Wright, G. C., & McIver, J. P. (1993). Statehouse democracy: Public opinion and policy in the American states. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. GIA. (2016). A profile of older Americans: 2016. GIA: Grantmakers in Aging. Available online at https://www.giaging.org/documents/A_Profile_of_Older_Americans_2016.pdf.
  21. Goldberg, L. R. (1990). An alternative “description of personality:” the big-five factor structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1216–1229.Google Scholar
  22. Government of Canada. (2018). Social determinants of health and health inequalities. Available online at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/population-health/what-determines-health.html.
  23. HealthyPeople.gov. (2018). Healthy People 2020: Social determinants of health. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Available online at https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health.
  24. Henriques-Calado, J., Duarte-Silva, M. E., & Ferreira, A. S. (2016). Personality traits in women with Alzheimer's disease: Comparisons with control groups with the NEO-FFI. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 341–347.Google Scholar
  25. Hofstede, G., & McCrae, R. R. (2004). Personality and culture revisited: Linking traits and dimensions of culture. Cross-Cultural Research, 38, 52–88.Google Scholar
  26. Infoplease. (2018). Per capita personal income by state. Available online at https://www.infoplease.com/business-finance/poverty-and-income/capita-personal-income-state.
  27. Iowa State University (2018). Urban percentage of the population for states, Historical. Available online at https://www.icip.iastate.edu/tables/population/urban-pct-states
  28. Johansson, L., Guo, X., Duberstein, P. R., Hällström, T., Waern, M., Östling, S., et al. (2014). Midlife personality and risk of Alzheimer disease and distress: A 38-year follow-up. Neurology, 83, 1538–1544.Google Scholar
  29. John, O. P., & Srivastava, S. (1999). The big five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. In L. A. Pervin & O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 102–139). New York, NY, USA: Guilford.Google Scholar
  30. Koller, D., & Bynum, J. P. W. (2015). Dementia in the USA: State variation in prevalence. Journal of Public Health, 37, 597–604.Google Scholar
  31. Kunz, L., Reuter, M., Axmacher, N., & Montag, C. (2017). Conscientiousness is negatively associated with grey matter volume in young APOE ɛ4-carriers. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 56, 1135–1144.Google Scholar
  32. MacGill, M. (2018). What's to know about Alzheimer's disease? Medical News Today. Available online at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php.
  33. Marchant, N. L., & Howard, R. J. (2015). Cognitive debt and Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 44, 755–770.Google Scholar
  34. McCann, S. J. H. (1992). Alternative formulas to predict the greatness of U.S. presidents: Personological, situational, and zeitgeist factors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 469–479.Google Scholar
  35. McCann, S. J. H. (1997). Threatening times, 'strong' presidential popular vote winners, and the margin of victory (1824-1964). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 160–170.Google Scholar
  36. McCann, S. J. H. (2008). Societal threat, authoritarianism, conservatism, and U.S. state death penalty sentencing (1977-2004). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 913–923.Google Scholar
  37. McCann, S. J. H. (2014). Big five personality differences and political, social, and economic conservatism: An American state-level analysis. In P. J. Rentfrow (Ed.), Geographical psychology: Exploring the interaction of environment and behaviour (pp. 139–160). Washington: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  38. McCann, S. J. H. (2015). Big five personality and residential mobility: A state-level analysis of the USA. Journal of Social Psychology, 155, 274–291.Google Scholar
  39. McCann, S. J. H. (2017). Higher USA state resident neuroticism is associated with lower state volunteering rates. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 1659–1674.Google Scholar
  40. McCann, S. J. H. (2019). Lower state resident neuroticism is related to later attainment of statehood in the USA. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 13, 55–70.Google Scholar
  41. Meins, W., & Dammast, J. (2000). Do personality traits predict the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 15, 120–124.Google Scholar
  42. Pesta, B. J., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). State IQ well-being and racial composition as predictors of U.S. presidential election outcomes. Intelligence, 42, 107–114.Google Scholar
  43. Pettigrew, T. F. (1997). Personality and social structure: Social psychological contributions. In R. Hogan, J. A. Johnson, & S. R. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology (pp. 417–438). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  44. Pocnet, C., Rossier, J., Antonietti, J.-P., & von Gunten, A. (2011). Personality changes in patients with beginning Alzheimer disease. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56, 408–417.Google Scholar
  45. Pocnet, C., Rossier, J., Antonietti, J.-P., & von Gunten, A. (2013). Personality features and cognitive level in patients at an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 174–179.Google Scholar
  46. Rentfrow, P. J. (2010). Statewide differences in personality: Toward a psychological geography of the United States. American Psychologist, 65, 548–558.Google Scholar
  47. Rentfrow, P. J. (Ed.). (2014). Geographical psychology: Exploring the interaction of environment and behavior. Washington: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  48. Rentfrow, P. J., & Markus, J. (2016). Geographical psychology: The spatial organization of psychological phenomena. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 393–398.Google Scholar
  49. Rentfrow, P. J., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2008). A theory of the emergence, persistence, and expression of geographic variation in psychological characteristics. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 339–386.Google Scholar
  50. Robins Wahlin, T.-B., & Byrne, G. J. (2011). Personality changes in Alzheimer's disease: A systematic review. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26, 1019–1029.Google Scholar
  51. Robinson, W. S. (1950). Ecological correlations and the behavior of individuals. American Sociological Review, 15, 351–357.Google Scholar
  52. Rudowitz, R., Valentine, A., Ubri, P., & Zur, J. (2017). Factors affecting states’ ability to respond to federal Medicaid cuts and caps: Which states are most at risk? U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available online at https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-101707798-pdf.
  53. Simonton, D. K. (1986). Presidential personality: Biographical use of the Gough adjective check list. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 149–160.Google Scholar
  54. Simonton, D. K. (2001). Predicting presidential performance in the United States: Equation replication on recent survey results. Journal of Social Psychology, 141, 293–307.Google Scholar
  55. Simonton, D. K. (2006). Presidential IQ: Presidential IQ, openness, intellectual brilliance, and leadership: Estimates and correlations for 42 U.S. chief executives. Political Psychology, 27, 511–526.Google Scholar
  56. Snitz, B. E., Weissfeld, L. A., Cohen, A. D., Lopez, O. L., Nebes, R. D., Aizenstein, H. J., et al. (2015). Subjective cognitive complaints, personality and brain amyloid-beta in cognitively normal older adults. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23, 985–993.Google Scholar
  57. Terracciano, A., Iacono, D., O'Brien, R. J., Troncoso, J. C., An, Y., Sutin, A. R., et al. (2013). Personality and resilience to Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology: A prospective autopsy study. Neurobiology of Aging, 34, 1045–1050.Google Scholar
  58. Terracciano, A., Sutin, A. R., An, Y., O'Brien, R. J., Ferrucci, L., Zonderman, A. B., et al. (2014). Personality and risk of Alzheimer's disease: New data and meta-analysis. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 10, 179–186.Google Scholar
  59. U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). Current population survey (CPS): CPS table creator. Available online at https://www.census.gov/cps/data/cpstablecreator.html.
  60. Weuve, J., Hebert, L. E., Scherr, P. A., & Evans, D. A. (2015). Prevalence of Alzheimer disease in US states. Epidemiology, 26, e4–e6.Google Scholar
  61. Wilson, R. S., Bennett, D. A., de Leon, C. F. M., Bienias, J. L., Morris, M. C., & Evans, D. A. (2005). Distress proneness and cognitive decline in a population of older persons. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 30, 11–17.Google Scholar
  62. Wilson, R. S., Arnold, S. E., Schneider, J. A., Kelly, J. F., Tang, Y., & Bennett, D. A. (2006). Chronic psychological distress and risk of Alzheimer's disease in old age. Neuroepidemiology, 27, 143–153.Google Scholar
  63. Wilson, R. S., Arnold, S. E., Schneider, J. A., Li, Y., & Bennett, D. A. (2007). Chronic distress, age related neuropathology, and late-life dementia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69, 47–53.Google Scholar
  64. Wilson, R. S., Begeny, C. T., Boyle, P. A., Schneider, J. A., & Bennett, D. A. (2011). Vulnerability to stress, anxiety, and development of dementia in old age. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 327–334.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCape Breton UniversitySydneyCanada

Personalised recommendations