Quality of life and its correlates in a community population in a Japanese rural area

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Correlations of three aspects of quality of life (QOL) (health perception, life satisfaction, and self-confidence) with personality traits and early experiences were examined. Quality of life aspects were examined using 220 inhabitants in a rural community in Japan. Health perception was better among men than among women. Life satisfaction and self-confidence were better in people aged 55 or over than in those under 55. Among the current predictor variables, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire neuroticism score was correlated with poor life satisfaction in the younger women; the extraversion score with the older women's health perception, the older men's life satisfaction, and the women's self-confidence; and the psychoticism score with the older men's life satisfaction. Among early life predictors, self-confidence was lower among those older men who had reported early parental loss. Childhood paternal overprotection was correlated with poor health perception in younger people and with good health perception in older women. Some negative life events experienced during childhood were correlated with poorer QOL measures in some subgroups, while positive life experiences were correlated with the older women's life satisfaction. These findings suggest that the three aspects of the QOL are discrete in their psychosocial correlates and that interventions on health education and care should take into account individual's psychosocial attributes.

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