Research on the psychological mechanisms underlying the link between personality and health is still premature. This study argues for an integrated multistage approach in which lower-order traits mediate the impact of higher-order traits on health. A total of 1038 university students (738 female and 300 male) completed the Big Five, trait Emotional Intelligence (EI), Humour Styles and General Health questionnaires. Structural equation modelling showed that, as hypothesized, trait EI and three of the humour styles fully mediated the paths from Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness to General Health. Moreover, the link between Neuroticism and General Health was partially mediated by trait EI and three of the humour styles. This study provides empirical evidence for an integrated multistage model that shows how multiple traits can be integrated to jointly impact on General Health. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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