Are happy people healthier? The specific role of positive affect in predicting self-reported health symptoms

Pettit J., Kline J., Gencoz T., Gencoz F., Joiner T.

JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PERSONALITY, vol.35, no.4, pp.521-536, 2001 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1006/jrpe.2001.2327
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.521-536
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Previous empirical work sought to establish relationships between psychological variables and physical health. Research investigating the associations between positive and negative affectivity and physical health have produced mixed results, often suggesting that negative affectivity generally is more strongly associated with health symptoms. We investigated the role of both positive and negative affectivity in predicting self-reported health symptoms. Positive affectivity emerged as a significant predictor of good health, while negative affectivity failed to predict changes in health symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of the benefits of positive emotions in promoting health and improving physical health via psychological interventions. (C) 2001 Academic Press.