Five-factor model personality traits and grip strength: meta-analysis of seven studies

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

September 15, 2022



To examine the association between Five-Factor Model personality traits and grip strength.

Adults aged 16 to 104 years old (N > 40,000) were from the Health and Retirement Study, the Midlife in the United States Study, The English Longitudinal Study of Aging, the National Health and Aging Trends Survey, the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study, and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study graduate and sibling samples. Participants had data on personality traits, demographic factors, grip strength, and mediators such as depressive symptoms, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and c-reactive protein (CRP).

Across all samples and a meta-analysis, higher neuroticism was related to lower grip strength (meta-analytic estimate: -0.07, 95%CI: −0.075; −0.056). Higher extraversion (0.04, 95%CI: 0.022; 0.060), openness (0.05, 95%CI: 0.032; 0.062), and conscientiousness (0.05, 95%CI: 0.04; 0.065) were associated with higher grip strength across most samples and the meta-analysis. Depressive symptoms were the most consistent mediators between neuroticism and grip strength. Depressive symptoms and physical activity partly mediated the associations with extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness. Lower CRP partly mediated the association with conscientiousness. Sex moderated the associations for extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness, with stronger associations among males. Age moderated the neuroticism association, with stronger associations among younger individuals.

This study provides replicable evidence that personality is related to grip strength and identifies potential moderators and mediators of these associations. Overall, higher neuroticism is a risk factor for low grip strength, whereas high extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness may be protective.

Published in

Journal of Psychosomatic Research


Volume: 160:110961







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