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Personality and Smoking: Individual-Participant Meta-Analysis of 9 Cohort Studies


  • Christian Hakulinen
  • Mirka Hintsanen
  • Marcus R. Munafò
  • Marianna Virtanen
  • Mika Kivimäki
  • G. David Batty
  • Markus Jokela


Aims: To investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between personality and smoking, and test whether sociodemographic factors modify these associations.Design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal individual-participant meta-analysis. Setting: Nine cohort studies from Australia, Germany, UK and US. Participants: A total of 79,757 men and women (mean age = 51 years). Measurements: Personality traits of the Five-Factor Model (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience) were used as exposures. Outcomes were current smoking status (current smoker, ex-smoker, and never smoker), smoking initiation, smoking relapse, and smoking cessation. Associations between personality and smoking were modeled using logistic and multinomial logistic regression, and study-specific findings were combined using random-effect meta-analysis. Findings: Current smoking was associated with higher extraversion (odds ratio per 1 standard deviation increase in the score: 1.16; 95% confidence interval: 1.08-1.24), higher neuroticism (1.19; 1.13-1.26), and lower conscientiousness (0.88; 0.83-0.94). Among nonsmokers, smoking initiation during the follow-up period was prospectively predicted by higher extraversion (1.22; 1.04-1.43) and lower conscientiousness (0.80; 0.68-0.93), whereas higher neuroticism (1.16; 1.04-1.30) predicted smoking relapse among ex-smokers. Among smokers, smoking cessation was negatively associated with neuroticism (0.91; 0.87-0.96). Sociodemographic variables did not appear to modify the associations between personality and smoking. Conclusions: Adult smokers have higher extraversion, higher neuroticism and lower conscientiousness personality scores than non-smokers. Initiation into smoking is positively associated with higher extraversion and lower conscientiousness, while relapse to smoking among ex-smokers is association with higher neuroticism.

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  • Christian Hakulinen & Mirka Hintsanen & Marcus R. Munafò & Marianna Virtanen & Mika Kivimäki & G. David Batty & Markus Jokela, 2015. "Personality and Smoking: Individual-Participant Meta-Analysis of 9 Cohort Studies," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 783, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp783

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    1. F. Thomas Juster & Richard Suzman, 1995. "An Overview of the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages 7-56.
    2. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, June.
    3. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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    1. Önsel Ekici, Şule & Kabak, Özgür & Ülengin, Füsun, 2016. "Linking to compete: Logistics and global competitiveness interaction," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.

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    Cohort studies; five-factor mode; individual-participant meta-analysis; personality; smoking;

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