A1 Journal article (refereed)
Stability in health behavior patterns in middle adulthood : a 19-year follow-up study (2024)

Ahola, J., Kekäläinen, T., Kinnunen, M.-L., Tolvanen, A., Pitkänen, T., Pulkkinen, L., Saajanaho, M., & Kokko, K. (2024). Stability in health behavior patterns in middle adulthood : a 19-year follow-up study. Psychology and Health, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2024.2316676

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsAhola, Johanna; Kekäläinen, Tiia; Kinnunen, Marja-Liisa; Tolvanen, Asko; Pitkänen, Tuuli; Pulkkinen, Lea; Saajanaho, Milla; Kokko, Katja

Journal or seriesPsychology and Health



Publication year2024

Publication date22/02/2024

VolumeEarly online


Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/93808


Objective: This study investigated subgroups of adults with particular health behavior patterns, their stability over 19 years, and the role of sociodemographic and personality characteristics in these.

Methods and Measures: Data on smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity were collected at ages 42, 50, and 61 in the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (n = 205–302). Latent class, latent transition, and logistic regression analyses were used.

Results: Four similar classes of health behaviors were identified at each age. A class named low alcohol consumption (AC)–high physical activity (PA) included individuals with the lowest levels of alcohol consumption and the highest levels of physical activity, and a class named high AC–low PA vice versa. Classes between these extremes of alcohol consumption and physical activity levels were nonsmokers with the lowest proportion of smokers, and smokers vice versa. Although transitions emerged, class memberships were relatively stable. Women, those who were married, held a degree, had higher occupational status, and certain personality traits at age 42 were more likely to belong continuously to healthier classes compared to a stable membership in high AC–low PA.

Conclusion: Health behaviors exist in patterns, are relatively stable across adulthood, and associated with sociodemographic and personality characteristics.

Keywordssmokingalcoholic beveragesphysical activitylongitudinal research

Free keywordssmoking; alcohol consumption; physical activity; latent transition analysis; longitudinal study

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2024

Preliminary JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-13-05 at 18:06