There is general consensus that self-rated health is the strongest predictor of subjective well-being during adulthood. What is not understood is the reason for the consistent relationship between these two variables. Other literature suggests that self-report health ratings are a function of both objective physical health status and neuroticism. This study examines the interrelationships among neuroticism, physician-rated health, self-rated health and subjective well-being concurrently and prospectively. Relationships are compared across gender, indicators of subjective well-being and times of measurement. The sample includes 243 men and 225 women in the cross-sectional analyses and 185 men and 165 women in the longitudinal analyses. As predicted, the results indicate that: 1. (1) self-rated health is significantly correlated with neuroticism, physician-rated health and subjective well-being; 2. (2) neuroticism is significantly related to subjective well-being; 3. (3) physician-rated health is weakly correlated with subjective well-being; and 4. (4) partialling out neuroticism reduces the association between self-rated health and subjective well-being more than partialling out physician-rated health. Unexpectedly, neuroticism is significantly related to changes in subjective well-being. Future studies of the determinants of subjective well-being should include measures of neuroticism and physician-rated health.
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