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Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Personality Associations With Self-Report, Performance, and Awareness of Functional Difficulties


  • Yana Suchy
  • Paula G. Williams
  • Matthew L. Kraybill
  • Emilie Franchow
  • Jonathan Butner


Self-reports of the ability to engage in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) among older adults are known to be related to personality traits. However, self-reports are sometimes discrepant with performance-based IADL assessments, and little is known about personality associations with objective functionality or with poor insight about functional deficits. This study examined the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised profiles associated with (a) self-report of functional problems, (b) functional errors evidenced on performance-based IADL assessment, and (c) discrepancies between self-report and performance. Participants were 65 community-dwelling individuals ranging in age from 60 to 87 years. The results showed that self-report of IADL problems are associated with higher neuroticism and lower conscientiousness, actual IADL difficulties with higher neuroticism and lower agreeableness and openness to experience, underreporting of problems with higher conscientiousness, and overreporting of problems with higher extraversion and neuroticism. These relationships were partly mediated by age, education, and cognitive status. When unique personality associations with self-report and performance were examined, neuroticism and agreeableness, respectively, emerged as the strongest predictors. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

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  • Yana Suchy & Paula G. Williams & Matthew L. Kraybill & Emilie Franchow & Jonathan Butner, 2010. "Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Personality Associations With Self-Report, Performance, and Awareness of Functional Difficulties," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 65(5), pages 542-550.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:geronb:v:65b:y:2010:i:5:p:542-550

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    References listed on IDEAS

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