Archiving the Hawaii Personality & Health Data

Categories: New Grant Award

Type: News

Date Published: 09/20/2013

ORI scientist Grant Edmonds, Ph.D., has just been funded by the National Institute on Aging to prepare the rich data set from the longitudinal Hawaii Personality & Health Study for archiving. This 2-year grant will allow Edmonds to document & de-identify the data for deposit with the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging.

In the 1960’s, over 2,000 children from entire classrooms in elementary schools on two Hawaiian Islands were comprehensively assessed on their personality characteristics. ORI researchers were funded in 1998 by the National Institute of Mental Health to locate and examine the health-related behaviors and mental and physical health status of these individuals. Almost 75% of those in the original group who could be located (mean age 51 years) have agreed to participate, and over 800 individuals completed a medical and psychological examination supported by subsequent grants from the National Institute on Aging.

The Hawaii study has yielded many high quality publications addressing questions central to personality psychology and to the growing field of personality and health. Key findings discovered by this study to date include: childhood conscientiousness predicts adult objectively measured health 40 years later; childhood conscientiousness and openness predict adult occupational environments 40 years later; and childhood extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness predict self-reported health outcomes, mediated by health behaviors and educational attainment.