Document Type



Purpose Recent initiatives by major funding agencies have emphasized translational and personalized approaches (e.g., genetic testing) to health research and health management. While such directives are appropriate, and will likely produce tangible health benefits, we seek to highlight a confluence of several lines of research showing relations between the personality dimension of conscientiousness and a variety of health-related outcomes.

Methods Using a modified health process model, we review the compelling evidence linking conscientiousness to health and disease processes, including longevity, diseases, morbidity-related risk factors, health-related psycho-physiological mechanisms, health-related behaviors, and social environmental factors related to health.

Conclusion We argue the accumulated evidence supports greater integration of conscientiousness into public health, epidemiological, and medical research, with the ultimate aim of understanding how facilitating more optimal trait standing might foster better health.


Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology | Public Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences


NOTICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHER POLICY: This is the author’s final accepted manuscript version (‘post-print’), formatted for archiving; a definitive version was subsequently published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine 45(3): 278-288. (June 2013). The final publication is available at