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    Neuroticism mediates the relationship between industrial history and modern‐day regional obesity levels

    Daly, Michael and Obschonka, Martin and Stuetzer, Michael and Sutin, Angelina R. and Shaw‐Taylor, Leigh and Satchell, Max and Robinson, Eric (2021) Neuroticism mediates the relationship between industrial history and modern‐day regional obesity levels. Journal of Personality, 89 (2). pp. 276-287. ISSN 0022-3506

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    Objective: The historical factors and contemporary mechanisms underlying geographical inequalities in obesity levels remain uncertain. In this study we examine whether modern regional variation in obesity is partly a result of the impact of large-scale industry on the personality traits of those living in regions once at the center of the Industrial Revolution. Method: Exposure to the effects of the Industrial Revolution was assessed using unique historical data from English/Welsh counties (N=111). Specifically, we examined the relationship between the regional employment share in large-scale coal-based industries in 1813-1820 and contemporary regional obesity levels (2013-2015). The Big Five personality traits and regional unemployment levels were examined as potential mediators of this association. Results: The historical regional employment share in large-scale industries positively predicted the modern-day regional prevalence of obesity. Mediation analysis showed that areas exposed to the decline of large-scale industries experienced elevated neuroticism and unemployment levels that explained almost half of the association between the historical dominance of large-scale industry and modern-day obesity levels. Conclusions: Our results provide initial evidence that raised regional neuroticism levels may play a key role in explaining why exposure to the rapid growth and subsequent decline of large-scale industries forecasts modern-day obesity levels.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the published article, which is available at Daly, M, Obschonka, M, Stuetzer, M, et al. Neuroticism mediates the relationship between industrial history and modern-day regional obesity levels. J Pers. 2021; 89: 276– 287.
    Keywords: Social deprivation; personality; obesity; industrialization;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15224
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michael Daly
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2022 15:51
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Personality
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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