Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1249–1256 | Cite as

The relation between personality, informal caregiving, life satisfaction and health-related quality of life: evidence of a longitudinal study

  • André Hajek
  • Hans-Helmut König



Personality characteristics of the caregiver might play a role in the relation between informal caregiving and health-related quality of life as well as life satisfaction. However, a limited body of research has examined this relation. This study aimed to examine the role personality characteristics of the caregiver might play in the relation between informal caregiving and well-being outcomes using a longitudinal approach.


Data were derived from the large Panel ‘Labour Market and Social Security.’ This is an annual household survey, which is conducted by order of the Institute for Employment Research covering persons and households registered as residents of Germany. The SF-12 was used to capture health-related quality of life (covering physical and mental health). A short version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-K) was used to quantify personality factors. Life satisfaction was measured by a single-item measure. Concentrating on these factors, we used data from the third (2008/2009), sixth (2012), and ninth wave (2015). 34,548 observations were used in fixed effects regressions.


Adjusting for various potential confounders, linear fixed effects regressions showed that the onset of informal caregiving reduced life satisfaction (β = − .14, p < .01), but not physical and mental health. The relation between informal caregiving and life satisfaction was significantly moderated by agreeableness (p < .01).


Findings of the present study emphasized that agreeableness moderates the relationship between informal caregiving and life satisfaction. Measuring personality characteristics of the informal caregiver is important for tailoring interventional strategies in order to increase the benefit of these programs.


Informal care Personality Carers Life satisfaction Quality of life Longitudinal studies 



This publication was funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) (Project Number: HA 7840/1-1). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research, Hamburg Center for Health EconomicsUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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