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Title: The relationship between positive psychological characteristics and longer telomeres
Contributor(s): Schutte, Nicola  (author)orcid ; Athiappan Palanisamy, Suresh K  (author); McFarlane, James R (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2016.1226308
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Abstract: Objective: Longer telomeres are associated with better health and longevity. This research investigated the relationship between positive psychological dispositional traits and telomere length. Positive traits examined were typical high positive affect, typical low negative affect, life satisfaction, trait mindfulness, trait emotional intelligence, general self-efficacy and optimism. Design and Measures: One hundred and twenty women and men, with a mean age of 40.92, completed measures of positive characteristics and provided samples for telomere length analysis. Results: Together the positive dispositional characteristics explained significant variance in telomere length, R = .40. Among the individual characteristics, greater optimism and higher emotional intelligence were associated with longer telomeres after adjustment for age and gender and the association between optimism and telomere length remained significant after adjusting for age and gender as well as the other positive characteristics, with a partial correlation r of .30. Conclusion: These results in conjunction with previous research findings provide a platform for further exploration of biological pathways connecting positive characteristics such as optimism to telomere length and investigation of the impact of increasing a characteristic such as optimism on telomere functioning.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Psychology & Health, 31(12), p. 1466-1480
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0887-0446
Field of Research (FOR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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