THE BIG FIVE PERSONALITY FACTORS, LIFESTYLE AND HEALTH: A CROSS-NATIONAL STUDY ON AUSTRALIA AND JORDAN
 
Innes, J.M. and Odeh, M., Murdoch University, Australia
 
This paper reports the results of a cross national study involving separate samples of student and community respondents in both Jordan and Australia. Participants completed measures of the Big Five personality traits, together with assessments of their characteristic coping styles, reports on their lifestyle habits regarding exercise, diet, alcohol consumption and smoking and their health status. In agreement with previous studies Neuroticism predicted poorer health in all four groups. Extraversion additionally predicted better health in the Australian samples and Conscientiousness better health in the Jordanian samples. Cross-national differences in coping styles and in lifestyles are reported. However, while the report of getting an appropriate amount of sleep predicted better health in the Australian student sample, regression analyses showed that no other lifestyle factor predicted health outcome after the personality factors were taken into account. This indicates that the relationship between personality and health is not mediated by lifestyle or coping skills. Implications for the likely efficacy of interventions to alter lifestyle habits are considered.