Falls are a major problem for older adults. Many falls occur when a person’s attention is divided between two tasks, such as a dual task (DT) involving walking. Most recently, the role of personality in walking performance was addressed; however, its association with DT performance remains to be determined.
This cross-sectional study of 73 older, community-dwelling adults explores the association between personality and DT walking and the role of gender in this relationship. Personality was evaluated using the five-factor model. Single-task (ST) and DT assessment of walking-cognitive DT performance comprised a 1-min walking task and an arithmetic task performed separately (ST) and concurrently (DT). Dual-task costs (DTCs), reflecting the proportional difference between ST and DT performance, were also calculated.
Gender plays a role in the relationship between personality and DT. Extraversion was negatively associated with DTC-motor for men (ΔR2 = 0.06, p < 0.05). Conscientiousness was positively associated with DTC-cognition for women (ΔR2 = 0.08, p < 0.01).
These findings may lead to effective personality-based early detection and intervention for fall prevention.
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- The role of gender in the association between personality and task priority in older adults’ dual-tasking while walking
- BioMed Central
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