Personality traits and perceived social support among depressed older adults

Kelly C. Cukrowicz, Alexis T. Franzese, Steven R. Thorp, Jennifer S. Cheavens, Thomas R. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The contribution of personality traits and social support to mental health is well established, but to our knowledge there have been no longitudinal investigations of the relation between personality and social support in depressed older adults. In the current study, we examined a repeated measures multi-level mixed model of change in perceived social support to determine whether personality traits and depressive symptoms were associated with changes in perceived social support over the 3 year study interval in a sample of depressed older adults. Results suggest that Conscientiousness and Extraversion were personality traits that were significantly predictive of changes in perceived social support over this time interval. Based on these results it appears that, among depressed older adults, those with conscientious or extraverted personality traits are more likely to resist impulses to withdraw from relationships. In addition, these traits may lead to more satisfying interactions and greater perceived social support over time. The implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-669
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Older adults
  • Perceived social support
  • Personality
  • Social support

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