British Journal of Health Psychology

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Volume 17 Issue 1 (February 2012), Pages 1-221

Openness to experience and all‐cause mortality: A meta‐analysis and r equivalent from risk ratios and odds ratios (pages 85-102)

Objectives. To test the prediction that Openness to Experience (O) is a protective factor with respect to all‐cause mortality. To provide a method of calculating a standard effect size estimate (requivalent) from relative risk (RR) and odds ratios (OR).

Methods. A meta‐analysis of 11 (N= 19, 941) studies linking O to all‐cause mortality is reported. Analyses are conducted on the total sample and on sub‐samples with and without other mortality risk factors (e.g., age, social class) controlled. The same analyses are also conducted on the studies that used indices of O based on standard measures of the five‐factor model (FFM: NEO and Goldberg's adjective markers). This paper also provides a means of calculating an requivalent from RR and OR.

Results. The results show that for all studies O is a protective factor (r= .051) and this effect is slightly higher (r= .064) when only FFM measures are used. When risk factors are not controlled, the protective effect for O is .091 for all studies and .097 for FFM indices. However, a predicted attenuation is observed when standard mortality risk factors are controlled to .028 for all measures and .036 for FFM measures.

Conclusions. While O is protective with respect to all‐cause mortality, the effect is attenuated by other mortality risk factors and future work needs to explore the complex independent, moderating, and mediating processes linking O to all‐cause mortality.

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