Download Work, personality and psychological distress PDF

TitleWork, personality and psychological distress
LanguageEnglish
File Size464.7 KB
Total Pages137
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Work, personality and psychological distress:

direct and moderating effects of the Big Five personality traits





Par

Claudia Di Sanza





Relations industrielles

Faculté des Arts et des Sciences





Mémoire présenté à la Faculté des études supérieures

en vue de l’obtention du grade de Maîtrise

en Relations Industrielles





Décembre, 2010

Claudia Di Sanza, 2010

Page 2

II




Université de Montréal

Faculté des études supérieures







Ce mémoire intitulé :

Work, personality and psychological distress:

direct and moderating effects of the Big Five personality traits







présenté par :

Claudia Di Sanza





a été évalué par un jury composé des personnes suivantes :

Émilie Genin
Présidente-rapporteuse


Alain Marchand

Directeur de recherche


Pierre Durand
Membre du jury

Page 68

58

Personality variables



Moving to the personality traits, our model suggests that a direct relationship

exists between extraversion and psychological distress. Although prior research covered

in the literature did not find a significant relationship between these two (van den Berg

& Feig, 2003; Miller et al. 1999), we propose that such a link may in fact be found. An

individual high on the extraversion trait is characterized as being optimist (Costa &

McCrae, 1992) and has been found to reappraise problems positively (Bakker et al.

2006). For these reasons, they should be better equipped to deal with stressful situations

and present a positive attitude. We hypothesize that such a positive outlook would

produce a protective effect on the risk of experiencing psychological distress in

extraverted individuals. Furthermore, when observing the burnout literature, several

authors have found extraversion to be negatively related to job burnout (Bakker et al.

2006; Kim et al. 2007; Zellars et al. 2000). Since it is logical to deduct that mental

health problems may be positively correlated, these findings may indicate a negative

link between extraversion and psychological distress. Therefore, we expect to find a

negative relationship between extraversion and psychological distress [H12].



We equally put forward the occurrence of a direct relationship between

agreeableness and psychological distress. To our knowledge, no study has addressed

this relationship. In any case, we propose that there may be a negative relationship

between agreeableness and psychological distress. A negative relationship may yield

from the fact that agreeable workers are good-natured and forgiving (Costa & McCrae,

Page 69

59

1992). In this way, they may yield positive relationships with others in their

environment and be willing to forgive small issues. With regards to the literature on

other mental health problems, agreeableness has been found to have a negative

relationship with burnout (Kim et al. 2007; Piedmont, 1993; Mills & Huebner, 1998)

and may have a protective impact on the development of depressive symptoms due to

its association with social support (Vearing & Mak, 2007). Consequently, we expect

the relationship between agreeableness and psychological distress to be negative [H13].



A direct relationship can also be found between conscientiousness and

psychological distress. To our knowledge, past research has not addressed this issue.

However, we hypothesize that there will be a negative relationship between

conscientiousness and psychological distress. We attribute this to the characteristics

associated with conscientiousness such as being goal-direct, ambitious and perseverant

(Costa & McCrae, 1992), as well as using coping strategies axed on problem-solving

(Bakker et al. 2006). These traits suggest that these workers would be willing to resolve

the negative aspects of their work to achieve their future goals, exposing them less to

the negative effects of stress. Furthermore, Vearing & Mak (2007) found that

conscientiousness was negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Therefore, we

predict a negative relationship between conscientiousness and psychological distress

[H14].



It is proposed that there is a direct relationship between neuroticism and

psychological distress. Miller et al. (1999) found neuroticism to be a significant

Page 136

126

Shimazu, A., de Jonge, J. & Irimajiri, H. (2008). Lagged effects of active coping within
the demand-control model: A three-wave panel study among Japanese employees.
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 15, 44-53.

Shultz, K., Wang, M., Crimmins, E., Fisher, G. (2009). Age differences in the demand
control model of work stress: an examination of data from 15 European countries.
Journal of applied gerontology, 29 (1), 21-47.

Siegrist, J. (1996). Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. Journal
of Occupational Health Psychology, 1, 27-41.

Siegrist, J., & Peter, R. (1996). Threat to occupational status control and cardiovascular
risk. Israel Journal Medical Science, 32, 179-184.

Smelser, N.J. (1997). Problematics of sociology: The George Simmel Lecture 1995.
Berkeley: University of California Press.

Snijders, T.A.B., & Bosker, J.R. (1999). Multilevel analysis. An introduction to basic
and advanced multilevel modeling. London: Sage Publications.

Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 282-0087, Catalogue no. 71-001-XIE. Last modified:
2010-03-12

Sutin, A., & Costa, P. (2010). Reciprocal influences of personality and job
characteristics across middle adulthood. Journal of Personality, 78(1), 257-288.

Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (2007). Using multivariate statistics, 5th edition. Boston:
Allyn and Boston.

Thoits, P.A. (1999) Sociological approaches to mental illness. In A.V. Horwitz & T.L.
Scheid (Eds.), A hand- book for the study of mental health-social contexts and systems
(pp. 121-138). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tokar, D.M., Fischer, A.R., & Mezydlo Subich, L. (1998). Personality and vocational
behavior: A selective review of the literature, 1993-1997. Journal of Vocational
Behavior, 53, 115-153.

Turner, R., Wheaton, B., & Llyod, D. (1995). The epidemiology of social stress.
American Sociological Review, 60, 104-125.

Van den Berg, P. & Feij, J. (2003). Complex relationships among personality traits, job
characteristics, and work behaviors. International Journal of Selection and Assessment,
11(4), 326-339.

Page 137

127

Van der Doef, M., & Maes, S. (1999) The job demand-control (support) model and
psychological well-being: A review of 20 years of empirical research. Work & Stress,
13, 87-114.

Van Vegchel, N., de Jonge, J., Bosma, H., & Schaufeli, W. (2005). Reviewing the
effort-reward imbalance model: Drawing up the balance of 45 empirical studies. Social
science & Medicine, 60, 1117-1131.

Vearing, A. & Mak, A.S. (2007). Big five personality and effort-reward imbalance
factors in employees’ depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 43,
1744-1755.

Vermeulen, M. & Mustard, C. (2000). Gender differences in job strain, social support at
work, and psychological distress. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5, 428-
440.

Vézina, M., Cousineau, M., Mergler, D., & Vinet, A. (1992). Pour donner un sens au
travail. Bilan et orientations du Québec en santé mentale au travail. Boucherville : Éd.
Gaëtan Morin.

Voydanoff, P. & Donnelly, B.W. (1999b). Multiple roles and psychological distress:
the intersection of the paid worker, spouse, and parent roles with the role of the adult
child. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 61, 725-738.


Wheaton, B. (1999a). The nature of stressors. In A.V. Horwitz & T.L. Scheid (Eds.), A
handbook for the study of mental health: Social contexts, theories, and systems (pp.
177-197). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wheaton, B. (1999b). Social stress. In C.S. Aneshensel & J.C. Phelan (Eds.), Handbook
of sociology of mental health (pp.277-300). New York, US: Kluwer Academic &
Plenum Publishers.

Zellars, K.L., Perrewé P.L., & Hochwarter, W.A. (2000). Burnout in Health Care: The
role of the five factors of personality. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 30 (8),
1570-1598.

Similer Documents