The aim of this study was to test a model proposing that the relationship between personality factors and women’s quality of life (QoL) is mediated by degree of depression and the way in which every day activity and general health were appraised. Specifically, the paper addressed the mediating contribution of activity.
A sample of 488 women, 38 or 50 years old, filled out questionnaires regarding the target variables. The personality traits measured were extraversion and neuroticism, and the activity aspect addressed was the value linked with everyday activities. Additionally, general health and depressive state was rated. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.
A model was found where health, activity and depressive state mediated the association between personality and QoL. Health explained in total nearly 30% of the variation in QoL. Activity predicted 12% of the variance in QoL, partly as a unique factor and partly mediated by depressive state and health. Extraversion was linked to QoL only through activity, and neuroticism through depressive state and health.
Our analysis supported that there was a link between personality and QoL and that perceived general health was an important contributor to QoL. Moreover, it contributed new knowledge regarding the importance of valued and satisfying activities. If this proves to be a consistent finding in future studies, including intervention research, monitoring women’s daily activities might be a pathway to improved QoL.