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Factors Influencing Adult Physical Health after Controlling for Current Health Conditions: Evidence from a British Cohort

Cheng, H; Furnham, A; (2013) Factors Influencing Adult Physical Health after Controlling for Current Health Conditions: Evidence from a British Cohort. PLoS One , 8 (6) , Article e66204. 10.1371/journal.pone.0066204. Green open access

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Abstract

This study explored a longitudinal data set of 6875 British adults examining the effects of parental social status (measured at birth), cognitive ability (at age 11 yrs), personality traits, education and occupational attainment on physical health and functioning (all measured at age 50 yrs), after taking account of current health conditions (number of illness). Correlation analysis showed that parental social class, childhood cognitive ability, education and occupation, and two personality traits (Emotional Stability/Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness) were all significantly associated with adult physical health variables. Structural equation modelling showed that health conditions and personality traits were significantly, and inversely, associated with physical health (indicated by good daily physical functioning, relative absence of pain, perceived health, and low level of limitations at work due to physical health). Parental social status, childhood intelligence, educational and occupational attainment were all modestly, but significantly and directly, associated with adult physical health. The effect of childhood intelligence on adult physical health was, in part, mediated through Emotional Stability and Conscientiousness. After controlling for health conditions Emotional Stability was the strongest predictor of physical health. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Factors Influencing Adult Physical Health after Controlling for Current Health Conditions: Evidence from a British Cohort
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066204
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066204
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Cheng, Furnham. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1418796
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