As your grandparents probably told you, once you've lived to a certain age it becomes your full entitlement to act like a massive pain in the arse.

But now researchers have found that being stubborn could actually be crucial to living longer - as well as having a positive mindset and having a strong work ethic.

via GIPHY

A new study looking into the mental and physical health levels of Italians between the ages of 90 and 101 found that many of the pensioners had these psychological traits in common.

The study, which was published in the journal International Psychogeriatics, concluded that one of the reasons the participants had lived so long was because overall they were mentally healthier than their younger family members. Having a steady job and a house might have something to do with that, but y'know.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Rome La Sapienza surveyed 29 OAPs who lived in nine remote villages in the Cilento region of southern Italy.

The scientists assessed the OAPs' mental and physical health through a number of tests and interviews. They also asked the OAPs' younger relatives to describe their elders' personalities and lifestyles.

The researchers found that while they tended to have a positive life outlook, many of the OAPs shared stubborn personality traits - no surprise to anyone who's been to their granddad's house and asked them to change the channel.

The academics claim that being stubborn can be psychologically good for you as stubborn gits tend to be less bothered about what other people think of them.

The OAPs were also found to have a common passion for rural life. Maybe it's time to move to the country and start embracing the slow lifestyle then.

It helps if you live somewhere like this. Tuscany, Italy. Credit: PA

"There have been a number of studies on very old adults, but they have mostly focused on genetics rather than their mental health or personalities," said Dilip V. Jeste, professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at UC San Diego and one of the co-authors of the study.

"The main themes that emerged from our study, and appear to be the unique features associated with better mental health of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion and land."

The researchers plan to follow up their findings by seeing how the OAPs' biological health - presumably their genetics - pairs up with their physical and psychological health.

So there you have it. If you want to live long enough to get a birthday letter from the Queen, having good genes is great - but it probably helps to be a bit of a bastard as well.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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