Antecedents and correlates of self-assessed health: A longitudinal perspective



Year of publication 2012
Type Conference abstract
Description Health status in childhood and adolescence is not a very good predictor of subjectively assessed health in the later life (Kalimo, Vuori, 1991). Therefore, we should turn to other characteristics - personal, social, etc. There are a few longitudinal studies which show that childrens intelligence, adolescent personality or social characteristics are related to later health (e.g. Deary et al., 2004; Kokkonen, Pulkkinen, Kinnunen, 2001). In our longitudinal study (Brno Longitudinal Study on Life-Span Development), which is running from 1961, we have focused on psychological predictors and correlates of self-assessed health. We used data obtained from 70 individuals aged 41 to 44 years participating in our longitudinal study. Results show that especially personality predictors of self-assessed health can be found already in the middle adolescence. Personality characteristics played an important role also in the middle age. Surprisingly enough, results did not confirm any significant effect of the "traditional" correlates of positively assessed health (e.g. sense of coherence). In addition, these variables contributed only very little to the explanation of variance in self-assessed health. These results might as well be ascribed to the differences in cultural contexts (attitude towards one’s health; e.g. Silbereisen, Tomasik, 2008).

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