Optimism and resources: Effects on each other and on health over 10 years

Suzanne C. Segerstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Dispositional optimism may be associated with growth of social and status resources by virtue of optimists' greater persistence and better performance. Conversely, resource growth may give people a more positive view of their future and increase optimism. Changes in dispositional optimism and resources over 10 years were examined in former law students (N = 61). More optimistic first-year law students made more money 10 years later, but income did not predict later optimism. More optimistic students did not have larger social networks 10 years later, but increases in social network size predicted increased optimism. These changes predicted mental and physical health. Dispositional optimism was less stable than many personality traits (r = .35), potentially because it is responsive to resource change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-786
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by NIMH (MH10841, MH61531) and the Templeton Foundation. The author thanks Shelley Taylor and Margaret Kemeny for their assistance.


  • Health
  • Income
  • Optimism
  • Personality continuity and change
  • Resources
  • Social network
  • Social support
  • Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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