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Neuroticism and Quality of Life: Testing for Mediated Effects of Anxiety in Older Adults without Cognitive Impairment

Abstract

Plasticity has been related to some compensatory behavioral changes in aging that might occur, in many fields, personality included. Literature also supports its linked with quality of life in late life. However, the question of whether personality might affect symptomatology in the elderly, and its inherent relation to quality of life, has been the topic of debate. The aim of this study is to examine the mediating role of variables such as anxiety on personality and the quality of life in the elderly without cognitive impairment. A sample of 106 elderly participants (cognitive healthy and aged from 60 to 91 years old) was selected. Variables such as personality, anxiety and quality of life were measured through the Personality Factorial Battery (PFB), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the World Health Organization (WHOQOL)-BREF and the WHOQOL-OLD questionnaire. The anxiety symptomology was identified as mediating role of the relation between personality and quality of life in elderly persons, intensifying this relationship. The others personality’s factors did not present statistical significance. Anxiety mediates the effect of neuroticism personality on quality of life in the elderly without cognitive impairment. This might suggest that, even if studies claim invariance of neuroticism in late life, its effect on quality of life might be susceptible to variables such anxiety.

Resumen

La plasticidad se ha relacionado con algunos cambios comportamentales compensatorios en el envejecimiento que pueden ocurrir, en muchos campos, incluida la personalidad. La literatura también apoya su relación con la calidad de vida en los últimos años de la vida. Sin embargo, la cuestión de si la personalidad podría afectar la sintomatología en los ancianos y su relación inherente con la calidad de vida, ha sido el tema de debate. El objetivo de este estudio es examinar el papel mediador de variables como la ansiedad sobre la personalidad y la calidad de vida en personas mayores sin deterioro cognitivo. Se seleccionó una muestra de 106 participantes ancianos (cognitivos sanos y con edades comprendidas entre 60 y 91 años). Variables como la personalidad, la ansiedad y la calidad de vida se midieron a través de la Personality Factorial Battery (PFB), el Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), el World Health Organization (WHOQOL)-BREF y el cuestionario WHOQOL-OLD. La sintomatología de la ansiedad se identificó como el papel mediador de la relación entre la personalidad y la calidad de vida en personas mayores, intensificando esta relación. Los factores de la personalidad de los otros no presentaron significación estadística. La ansiedad media el efecto de la personalidad del neuroticismo en la calidad de vida en los ancianos sin deterioro cognitivo. Esto podría sugerir que, incluso si los estudios afirman, la invariancia del neuroticismo en los últimos años de la vida, su efecto sobre la calidad de vida podría ser susceptible a variables tales como la ansiedad.

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Correspondence to Tatiana Quarti Irigaray.

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Marianne Farina and Tatiana Quarti Irigaray are researcher of Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq); Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS) – Brazil.

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Farina, M., Moret-Tatay, C., Paloski, L.H. et al. Neuroticism and Quality of Life: Testing for Mediated Effects of Anxiety in Older Adults without Cognitive Impairment. Ageing Int 46, 83–94 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12126-019-09359-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12126-019-09359-5

Keywords

  • Personality
  • Big five
  • Quality of life
  • Anxiety
  • Elderly

Palabras Clave

  • Personalidad
  • Big five
  • Ansiedad; calidad de la vida
  • Personas mayores