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This study examined the Big Five personality traits as predictors of individual differences and changes in the perceived stressfulness of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany between early April 2020 and early September 2020. This timeframe includes the first national “lockdown,” the period of “easing” of restrictions, and the summer vacation period. Data were collected from n = 588 full-time employees, who provided baseline data on their personality traits in early December 2019, and then later provided data on perceived stressfulness of the COVID-19 pandemic at five time points, spanning six months. Consistent with expectations based on event and transition theories, results showed that, on average, perceived stressfulness declined between early April 2020 and early September 2020. Moreover, this effect was stronger between early April 2020 and early July 2020. Hypotheses based on the differential reactivity model of personality and stress were partially supported. Emotional stability was associated with lower, and extraversion associated with higher, average levels of perceived stressfulness. Finally, extraversion was associated with increases (i.e., positive trajectories) in perceived stressfulness between early April 2020 and early July 2020 and decreases (i.e., negative trajectories) in perceived stressfulness between early July 2020 and early September 2020.
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... While the associations between personality traits and psychological health during the COVID-19 pandemic have been investigated in some studies (e.g., Anglim and Horwood, 2021;Nikčević et al., 2021;Zacher and Rudolph, 2021a), there is considerably less research on the relation between organizational factors (i.e., organizational commitment and study/job satisfaction) and psychological health during the pandemic as well as its incremental validity over and above personality traits. To this end, we derived the first research question: RQ1. ...
... Cross-sectional direct analyses: How are individual and organizational soldier student factors related to loneliness, life satisfaction, and COVID-19 stress at the same time point? Specifically, we anticipated relations in accordance with prior research during the pandemic (for personality traits; see Carvalho et al., 2020;Anglim and Horwood, 2021;Gubler et al., 2021;Modersitzki et al., 2021;Nikčević et al., 2021;Shokrkon and Nicoladis, 2021;Zacher and Rudolph, 2021a) or before the pandemic, respectively (for organizational factors; see Dobreva-Martinova, 2002;Meyer et al., 2002;Moon and Jonson, 2012;Rivkin et al., 2018;Lambert et al., 2021). All expected relations are displayed in Table 1. ...
... Results from the stepwise multiple regressions yielded support for the relevance of both personality traits and organizational factors in predicting psychological health indicators at the same time point (RQ1). Controlling for gender, age, and presence at campus, we observed positive relations between extraversion and COVID-19 stress that replicates previous reports of a weakened positive effect of extraversion on psychological health in times of social distancing (Gubler et al., 2021;Zacher and Rudolph, 2021a). Possibly, this might also be related to military samples that have shown to score higher in extraversion (Klee and Renner, 2016). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant burden across different industrial sectors. Generally, an increase in psychological stress experiences has been reported, while the stress and coping responses of specific, potentially burdened populations have received less attention thus far. Thus, the present study investigated relations between individual (i.e., extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness) and organizational (i.e., organizational commitment and study satisfaction) factors, indicators of psychological health (i.e., loneliness, life satisfaction, COVID-19-related stress), and possible mediating effects of four broad coping dimensions (active coping, avoidant coping, social support, positive cognitive restructuring) in a specific sample of soldier students who engage in a double-role being military affiliates and students of non-military subjects. To this end, we assessed data of soldier students at two measurement points (N = 106 at t 1 and N = 63 at t 2) shortly after the second national lockdown in Germany (20. May 2021 to 11. July 2021) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personality traits showed expected associations with indicators of psychological health, i.e., positive relations between neuroticism and social loneliness, between extraversion and COVID-19 stress, and negative relations between neuroticism and life satisfaction. Remarkably, organizational variables showed effects above and beyond personality traits on loneliness and life satisfaction. Neither individual, nor organizational factors could predict change in psychological health over time. We found evidence for mediation effects through active coping, avoidant coping, and the use of social support, but not through positive cognitive restructuring. Findings highlight the relative importance of organizational factors besides personality traits for psychological health in a military student sample, holding important implications for designing efficient support systems in the military.
... However, actual contact with COVID-19 was not significantly related to adolescents' momentary optimism and did not moderate the relationship between perceived control and optimism at the within-person level (see Table S1). Second, as growing evidence suggests that extraverted individuals may have perceived the imposed social restrictions as more severe (Alt et al., 2021;Zacher & Rudolph, 2021), we explored whether extraversion would moderate Table 3 Multilevel models with momentary optimism as outcome N = 242 individuals providing 2,985 observations. WP = between-person level; BP = between-person level. ...
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In the global COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents are regarded as especially burdened due to school closures and leisure activities being banned, often reducing peer contacts to zero. Experiencing restrictions while being uninvolved in decision-making processes left them with little control over their daily lives. Meanwhile, research highlights that optimism can act as a buffer against the impact of daily hassles and is considered an important resource for mental health. To understand the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for adolescents' lives, this study examined how momentary perceived control and perceived personal and societal consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic relate to momentary optimism. Using experience-sampling data from N = 242 (Mage = 15.89; 86% female) adolescents assessed during the second pandemic wave in Germany, multilevel modeling revealed positive associations between adolescents’ momentary perceived control and their momentary optimism at both the within- and between-person level. Additionally, perceived consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic showed specific associations with momentary optimism: Whereas perceived societal consequences were directly related to lower momentary optimism, perceived personal consequences strengthened the relationship between momentary perceived control and optimism. These findings highlight the role of perceived control as an important resource for optimism both as a general tendency and within specific situations in daily life. This way, our results may shed light on how to support adolescent optimism during states of emergency, such as a worldwide pandemic.
... This might be explained by the timing of the study (May-July 2020). Research shows that COVID-related distress seemed to wane over time, as reflected in initially high stress levels in March/April 2020 and a subsequent decline (Zacher & Rudolph, 2021). This drop could partly be explained by decreases in perceived health risk, perceived financial risk, and lifestyle restrictions (Bönisch et al., 2020;. ...
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Individuals all across the world experienced significant disruptions in their personal and family life with the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The current study investigated dynamic associations between stress and relationship functioning over time in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perceived stress, relationship satisfaction, and relationship quality (appreciation, intimacy, conflict) were reported by 1483 young to middle-aged participants who were in a romantic relationship and lived with their partner in 2018/2019 and in May-July 2020 (a few months after the onset of COVID-19). Data were analyzed using bivariate latent change score models. Relationship functioning (satisfaction, appreciation, intimacy) showed small decreases from before to during the pandemic. Contrary to expectations, levels of perceived stress also decreased on average from before to during the pandemic. Changes in relationship functioning were correlated with changes in stress over time, so that participants with greater decreases in relationship satisfaction, appreciation, and intimacy and greater increases in conflict from before to during the pandemic showed lesser decreases/greater increases in stress. Higher pre-pandemic relationship satisfaction was associated with greater decreases/ lesser increases in stress from before to during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic levels of other measures of relationship functioning or stress were not associated with changes in outcomes over time. Results add to the literature demonstrating that stress is closely intertwined with the functioning of intimate relationships. Furthermore, they suggest that greater relationship satisfaction may serve as a protective factor for stressful life events.
... In the present study, we observed that most subjects with higher pre-pandemic extraversion levels showed a reduction in loneliness during the pandemic, an effect that may be related to strong social support when encountering stressors (Swickert et al., 2002). Findings of some previous studies had indicated that, compared to introverts, extraverted individuals experienced higher stress levels (Liu et al., 2021;Zacher and Rudolph, 2021) and larger declines in social connectedness (Folk et al., 2020). However, extraversion has also been shown to be related to lower perceived stress and better emotional regulation (Barańczuk, 2019) and to be a protective factor against anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic (Morales-Vives et al., 2020;Nikčević et al., 2021). ...
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to various government-imposed limitations on social interaction and strict home confinement. Such involuntary social-distancing policies can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and alter emotional well-being. Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis is a potential mechanism for loneliness’ deleterious health effects. In this study, we explored whether pre-pandemic diurnal cortisol output (AUCG), a measure of HPA axis function, may predict the propensity to changes in loneliness during long-term COVID-19 home confinement and if extraversion would moderate this relationship. This association has been explored by analysing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and strict home confinement on social and emotional loneliness in 45 Spanish young adults. Diurnal cortisol levels were measured from five saliva samples obtained across a day just before the pandemic, and data about participants’ perceived loneliness, empathic state, extraversion, and prospective volunteering were obtained both before and during the confinement. Participants’ social and family loneliness increased during long-term strict home confinement, while prospective volunteering tendencies and extraversion decreased. Importantly, after adjusting for relevant confounders, moderation analyses revealed that in young adults with high pre-pandemic extraversion, a higher AUCG predicted a larger increase in social loneliness during confinement, while in individuals with low extraversion, AUCG was negatively related to change in loneliness. Our findings highlight the utility of pre-pandemic diurnal cortisol output in predicting the social impact of COVID-19 home confinement, presenting this hormone as a potential biomarker for a priori identification of at-risk groups during public health crises.
... However, personality traits may be good candidates for explaining individual differences in stress reactions, including subjective well-being (Zager Kocjan et al., 2021). As a result, the personality traits were extensively analyzed recently as a predictor for changes in the perceived stress of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., Al-Omiri et al., 2021;Shokrkon and Nicoladis, 2021;Zacher and Rudolph, 2021). A recent study found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with high neuroticism worried more about the consequences of the pandemic and experienced more negative effects during this preoccupation (Kroencke et al., 2020). ...
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Teachers’ job-related well-being has been affected by the sudden shift to emergency remote online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has totally reshaped the task performance. Therefore, this study attempts to enlighten the possible reasons for the deterioration in teachers’ job-related well-being and proposes an integrated application of three models of prediction for job-related affective well-being and burnout as teachers’ indicators for the well-being in online teaching settings. The first model includes personality traits (extroversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness) measured with the revised neuroticism, extroversion, and openness personality inventory (NEO-PI-R). The second model integrates an indispensable skill for the online teaching which is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) as technology-related teaching skill conceptualized by the TPACK framework. The TPACK model is a technology integration that identifies three types of knowledge instructors need to combine for successful EdTech integration - technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (i.e., TPACK). The third model, a multidimensional one, includes coping mechanisms (e.g., problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping, social support coping, and avoidant coping) as mediators in the relationship between personality traits and TPCK on the one side, and job-related well-being indicators on the other side. Findings from regression analyses were used to test the first two models, and the findings from a mediation analysis were used to test the third model to show that teachers’ TPCK explains a significant amount of variance in the job-related affective well-being of the teachers. The analyses also demonstrate that avoidant coping particularly mediates the relation between burnout and job-related affective well-being during COVID-19 school closures. Results indicate the efficacy of the TPACK model in increasing the job-related well-being of the teachers. The analysis of the data led to recommend that teachers should improve their personal technology-related teaching skills and adopt coping strategies in consistent with their personality traits. Moreover, public schools, as organizations, could advance educational technology programs to enhance technology-related teaching skills with the aim of increasing the well-being of their employees in online teaching settings.
... The data used in this paper were collected as part of a larger longitudinal data collection effort. Six articles based on the same dataset, but with completely different research questions, have been published 21,22,23,24,25,26 . One of these manuscripts makes use of the T1, T2, and T5 assessments of emotional fatigue and relates them to perceptions of leadership 22 . ...
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Objective: Anecdotal evidence suggests work fatigue has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and work interventions to offset stresses have been effective. Our study sought to test these propositions, documenting and describing the complexity of worker well-being around two lockdown periods. Methods: Using 17 waves of data from a longitudinal study in Germany (December 2019 to June 2021, n = 1,053 employees), we model discontinuous changes in work fatigue and how participation in a government-sponsored short-term work program (Kurzarbeit) affected change trajectories. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic has not invariably resulted in work fatigue, and individuals with Kurzarbeit at the first lockdown (but not the second) showed significantly larger decreases in each form of fatigue at this transition. Conclusions: Future policy interventions will require more contextual nuance to effectively support worker well-being during public health crises.
... The data used in this paper were collected as part of a larger longitudinal data collection effort. Six articles based on the same dataset, but with completely different research questions, have been published 21,22,23,24,25,26 . One of these manuscripts makes use of the T1, T2, and T5 assessments of emotional fatigue and relates them to perceptions of leadership 22 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Anecdotal evidence suggests work fatigue has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and work interventions to offset stresses have been effective. Our study sought to test these propositions, documenting and describing the complexity of worker well-being around two lockdown periods. Methods: Using 17 waves of data from a longitudinal study in Germany (December 2019 to June 2021, n = 1,053 employees), we model discontinuous changes in work fatigue and how participation in a government-sponsored short-term work program (Kurzarbeit) affected change trajectories. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic has not invariably resulted in work fatigue, and individuals with Kurzarbeit at the first lockdown (but not the second) showed significantly larger decreases in each form of fatigue at this transition. Conclusions: Future policy interventions will require more contextual nuance and to effectively support worker well-being during public health crises.
... Finally, outside stressors due to COVID-19 may have influenced retention rates in our training studies. Specifically, previous research has found that COVID-19 has negatively impacted subjective well-being and cognitive functioning (Zacher and Rudolph, 2021;Fellman et al., 2020). Participants may have been less motivated to participate in research studies given that COVID-19 required classes and extracurricular activities to be held completely online as well. ...
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While remote data collection is not a new concept, the quality and psychometric properties of data collected remotely often remain unclear. Most remote data collection is done via online survey tools or web-conferencing applications (i.e., Skype or Zoom) and largely involves questionnaires, interviews, or other self-report data. Little research has been done on the collection of cognitive assessments and interventions via web-conferencing that requires multiple sessions with or without the assistance of an experimenter. The present paper discusses limitations and challenges of studies administered remotely, and outlines methods used to overcome such challenges while effectively collecting cognitive performance data remotely via Zoom. We further discuss relative recruitment, retention rates, compliance, and performance findings between in-lab and remotely administered cognitive assessment and intervention studies, as well as limitations to remote data collection. We found that while it was necessary to recruit more participants in remote studies to reach enrollment goals, compliance and performance were largely comparable between in-lab and remotely administered studies, illustrating the opportunities of conducting this type of experimental research remotely with adequate fidelity.
... This result is broadly in line with recent research on the COVID-19 pandemic that found employees' stressfulness decreased over the first three months of the pandemic (Zacher & Rudolph, 2021). Relative deprivation theory (Walker & Pettigrew, 1984) may explain this finding. ...
Thesis
Organizational psychologists have long been interested in the daily dynamics within a workday (Basch & Fisher, 1998; Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996). To explain these dynamics, they proposed that concise situations at work, so-called work events, add variety to the work routine and thus cause daily variability in affective reactions and organizational behavior. The role of work events in organizational behavior was discussed in two theories. The first theory, affective event theory (Weiss & Beal, 2005; Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996), argued that work events get evaluated as positive or negative and that these affective events explain variability in emotions and organizational behavior. Affective events became particularly popular to explain daily changes in emotions and affective well-being at work (Basch & Fisher, 1998; Gross et al., 2011; Kuba & Scheibe, 2017; Ohly & Schmitt, 2015). The second theory, event system theory (Morgeson et al., 2015), proposed subjective event features that describe how strongly an event affects organizational behavior. Event strength dimensions now contribute to research in the broader field of organizational behavior and development (Beeler et al., 2017; Chen et al., 2021; Morgeson & Derue, 2006). Event affectivity and event strength dimensions were theoretically well embedded but measuring these dimensions simultaneously remained difficult. Personality psychologists, however, recently developed new taxonomies to describe general life situations using data-driven bottom-up approaches (Oreg et al., 2020; Parrigon et al., 2017; Rauthmann et al., 2014; Ziegler et al., 2019). Parrigon et al. (2017), for instance, applied the lexical approach (Allport & Odbert, 1936) and extracted adjectives from movie subtitles to describe situations. From these adjectives, they derived seven dimensions that capture the subjective experience of work events—Complexity, Adversity, Positive valence, Typicality, Importance, humOr, and Negative valence (short: CAPTION). In this dissertation, we introduced the newly developed CAPTION situation taxonomy as a measure for daily work event dimensions. Chapter 1 of this dissertation introduces the field of work event research and outlines the research objectives of this dissertation. After establishing the CAPTION taxonomy for work events, we showed that additional work event dimensions assessed in the CAPTION framework explain incremental validity in affective well-being outcomes beyond the traditional affective positive/negative event approach (e.g., Basch & Fisher, 1998; Ilies et al., 2011; Ohly & Schmitt, 2015). We then studied personality, objective event features, and the social context at work as potential antecedents of the subjective work event experiences. In Chapter 2, we adjusted the CAPTION framework for work events and showed that measuring work event dimensions next to event positivity and negativity adds to explaining affective well-being during and after work. We first theoretically aligned the affective dimensions rooting in the affective event theory (positivity, negativity) and the event strength dimensions proposed in the event system theory (disruption, criticality, novelty) with dimensions of the newly developed CAPTION situation framework. We then adopted the CAPTION taxonomy for work events and tested the seven-dimensional structure in work events at the person-, day-, and event-level. In Study 1, the seven-dimensional CAPTION framework explained incremental variability in affective reactions at the end of the workday beyond the traditional positive/negative event approach; in Study 2, the seven-dimensional CAPTION framework explained incremental validity in emotional reactions during the workday beyond the traditional positive/negative event approach. Based on these findings, we can encourage future research to apply the CAPTION framework to study work events and daily dynamics at work. Next, we were interested in potential antecedents of work event experiences. Researchers have argued that both, the person and the situation, independently contribute to behavioral reactions of people to a situation (Lewin, 1951). Drawing from this idea, we suggest that person features, as well as objective event features, also both contribute to subjective event experiences. In Chapter 3, we studied the role of personality in the experience of daily work events. We showed that personality traits, as well as personality strength, predict variability in subjective work event experiences. Building on traditional theories on personality traits (Allport, 1961; McCrae & Costa, 1991), we suggested that specific personality traits will explain variability in daily event experiences. We further drew from personality strength theory (Dalal et al., 2015) and tested whether personality strength (an additional trait that describes how variable a person is within their personality expression) additionally explains variability in daily event experiences. To that end, we introduced the item-response-based Trait-Variability-Tree-Model (TVTM; Lang et al., 2019) as a new statistical approach towards personality strength. Using the TVTM, we separated personality traits from personality strength in a one-shot personality survey. Trait neuroticism increased variability in work event experiences while trait conscientiousness decreased variability in daily event experiences. Personality strength explained variability in work event experiences beyond these traits so that strong personalities showed less variability in event experiences. These findings expand earlier theories on personality traits. First, personality traits explain variability in situation experiences and support personality strength theory. Second, personality strength decreases variability in situation experiences. In Chapter 4, we studied whether objective event features of work events and the higher-level work context explain work event experiences. The objective features of work events can be described as who did what, where, when, and why? (Johns, 2006). The social component (who?) has been suggested as the most relevant objective feature of situations (Reis et al., 2000). To test this idea, we compared employees’ social work events with their non-social work events and found that social events were experienced as more positive, more humorous, less adverse, and more complex than non-social events. Further, the social interaction partner was important for how work events were experienced. Especially events with leaders differed from other social events as they were more cognitively challenging (more important, more complex) and less humorous than other social work events. Event system theory suggests that higher-level events or contexts affect lower-level events (Morgeson et al., 2015). When the COVID-19 pandemic started, employees were strongly encouraged to work from home and to keep social distance. These regulations changed the social work context for employees towards a more isolated work environment. Transition theories (Bliese et al., 2017; Schlossberg, 1981) suggest that employees adjust to changes in their larger environment and then may change their experiences. Building on these transition theories, we suggested that employees will adjust to their new social work context and experience social versus non-social work events differently. To test this idea, we compared the experiences of social and non-social work events of a group of employees before the COVID-19 pandemic with work events of a group of employees during the pandemic. Indeed, non-social work events during the pandemic were experienced as less adverse, less negative, and more important than before the pandemic. In line with transition theories, these findings suggest that participants adjusted to an altered social context. The findings further support event system theory in that higher-level transition events affect event experiences at a lower level. Chapter 5 closes this dissertation by summarizing the results from the three empirical chapters and connecting their findings with the research objectives of the dissertation. This final chapter elaborates on the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of this dissertation and discusses strengths, limitations, and future research direction resulting from this dissertation. The chapter closes with the main conclusions derived from this doctoral thesis.
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// English description below // Das zentrale Ziel in der Behandlung von Sexualstraftätern besteht in der Verringerung des Risikos für erneute Sexual­delikte. In der Evaluation wurden entlassene Sexual­straftäter, die an der sozial­therapeutischen Nachsorge­ in Sachsen teilnahmen, mit Sexualstraftätern ohne Nachsorge hinsichtlich Rückfällig­keit, Legal­- prognose sowie Konfliktfähigkeit im Längsschnitt ver­glichen. Anhand eines Paired Matchings wurde die Vergleichbarkeit beider Gruppen sichergestellt. Die Teilnehmer an der Nachsorge wiesen trotz der deutlich längeren Beobachtungdauer signifikant gerin­gere einschlägige Rückfallraten auf als Sexual­straftäter, die nicht an der sozialtherapeutischen Nachsorge teilnahmen. Neuartig an der vorliegenden Studie ist die Entwicklung eines zusätzlichen Assessments auf Grundlage des Good Lives-Modells (GLM), das eine empirisch-quantitative Überprüfung der Wirksamkeit dieses Ansatzes ermöglicht. Um zu untersuchen, was Behandlung­sab­brecher von den Klienten unterscheidet, die erfolgreich die Behandlung abschließen, wurde außerdem eine Vollerhebung aller bisherigen Therapieabschlüsse und Beendigungen vorgenom­men. Die Corona-Krise stellte die Gesellschaft insgesamt in den letzten Jahren vor besondere Herausforderungen. Wie sich die Maßnahmen auf die Resozialisation straffällig ge­wor­dener Menschen nach der Haftentlassung auswirkte, ist das Thema im letzten Teil unserer Studien. // English description: The central goal in the treatment of sex offenders is to reduce the risk of re-offending. In the evaluation, released sex offenders who participated in social therapy aftercare in Saxony were compared longitudinally with sex offenders without aftercare in terms of recidivism, legal prognosis, and conflict ability. Paired matching was used to ensure the comparability of both groups. Participants in aftercare showed significantly lower relevant recidivism rates than sex offenders who did not participate in social therapy aftercare, despite the significantly longer observation period. A novel feature of the present study is the development of an additional assessment based on the Good Lives Model (GLM), which allows empirical-quantitative testing of the effectiveness of this approach. In addition, to examine what distinguishes treatment dropouts from clients who successfully complete treatment, a full survey of all previous treatment completions and terminations was conducted. The Corona crisis has presented unique challenges to society at large in recent years. How interventions affected the resocialization of offenders after release from prison is the topic of the final part of our studies.
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The present study examined the fear of death among young adults in the wake of the COVID-19. It explored the association between neuroticism and death anxiety during this pandemic crisis, and it also examined the mediating role of perceived stress in this relationship. An online survey of 200 participants, including both students and employed young adults, aged between 18 and 30 years, was conducted. Results showed that neuroticism was positively correlated to death anxiety; however, the relationship was completely mediated by perceived stress. The results and implications are discussed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Background/Objective The objective of the study was to elucidate the underlying mechanism through which basic personality dimensions predict indicators of psychological functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, including subjective well-being and perceived stress. As a personality characteristic highly contextualized in stressful circumstances, resilience was expected to have a mediating role in this relationship. Method: A sample of 2,722 Slovene adults, aged from 18 to 82 years filled in the Big Five Inventory, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Mental Health Continuum. A path analysis with the Bootstrap estimation procedure was performed to evaluate the mediating effect of resilience in the relationship between personality and psychological functioning. Results: Resilience fully or partially mediated the relationships between all the Big Five but extraversion with subjective well-being and stress experienced at the beginning of the COVID-19 outburst. Neuroticism was the strongest predictor of less adaptive psychological functioning both directly and through diminished resilience. Conclusions: Resilience may be a major protective factor required for an adaptive response of an individual in stressful situations such as pandemic and the associated lockdown.
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The present study examined how neuroticism, extraversion, and emotion regulation were related to loneliness and well-being during 6 weeks of major public life restrictions in the Covid-19 pandemic in Switzerland. Cross-sectional results from 466 participants showed that neuroticism and emotion regulation strategies were associated with higher loneliness and lower well-being. However, in contrast to prior research, associations of extraversion with loneliness and well-being were weak and were qualified by interactions with emotion regulation. For introverts, maladaptive cognitive strategies such as rumination or catastrophizing were related to higher levels of loneliness. For extraverts, emotion suppression was related to lower levels of affective well-being. Individuals with low maladaptive regulation reported higher well-being the longer the public life restrictions were in place at the time of study participation. These findings suggest that first, extraversion may lose some of its protective value for loneliness and well-being when opportunities to engage in social activities are limited; second, that loneliness and well-being do not decrease over 6 weeks of public life restrictions; and third, that future studies should further investigate the moderating role of emotion regulation on the link between personality, loneliness, and well-being.
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From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, psychologists are theorizing that, as compared to introverts, extraverts experience more profound negative social consequences from protective measures (e.g., travel restrictions and bans on public gatherings). As the empirical evidence for this claim is lacking, this study tested the hypothesis that extraversion moderates the relationship between the stringency of COVID-19 protective measures and depressive symptoms. Our results were based on survey data from 93,125 respondents collected in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 20–April 6, 2020) across 47 countries and publicly available data on measure stringency. Findings demonstrate that extraversion moderates the relationship between measure stringency in the early days of the pandemic and depressive symptoms. For introverts, measure stringency has a negative effect on depressive symptoms, while for extraverts, it has a positive, but non-significant effect on depressive symptoms. This study suggests that, although stringent measures generally help people to worry less and feel safer, the lifestyle associated with such measures feels more natural to introverts than to extraverts.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic and interventions intended to minimize its spread continue to impact daily life, personality research may help to address the different ways in which people respond to a major global health crisis. The present study assessed the role of dark personality traits in predicting different responses to the pandemic. A nationally representative sample of 412 Americans completed measures of the Dark Tetrad as well as perceptions of COVID-19 threat, emergency beliefs, and positive and negative affect in response to COVID-19. Narcissism and Machiavellianism predicted greater negative affect and perceptions of threat during the pandemic, while psychopathy predicted positive affect. Conversely, sadism predicted greater positive affect. Dark personality also showed some predictive ability in explaining pandemic-related behaviors (e.g., more frequent cleaning) but not others (e.g., social distancing). Our findings provide evidence for differences in how dark personality traits predict individual responses to global crises.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in people’s private and public lives that are unprecedented in modern history. However, little is known about the differential psychological consequences of restrictions that have been imposed to fight the pandemic. In a large and diverse German sample ( N = 1,320), we examined how individual differences in psychological consequences of the pandemic (perceived restrictiveness of government-supported measures, global pandemic-related appraisals, subjective well-being) were associated with a broad set of faceted personality traits (Big Five, Honesty-Humility, Dark Triad). Facets of Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Openness were among the strongest and most important predictors of psychological outcomes, even after controlling for basic sociodemographic variables (gender, age). These findings suggest that psychological consequences of the pandemic depend on personality and thus add to the growing literature on the importance of considering individual differences in crisis situations.
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Large-scale health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may evoke negative affective responses, which are linked to psychological maladjustment and psychopathology. Here, we shed light on the role of the personality trait neuroticism in predicting who experiences negative affective responses. In a large-scale experience-sampling study (N = 1,609; 38,120 momentary reports), we showed that individuals high in neuroticism experienced more negative affect and higher affective variability in their daily lives. Individuals high in neuroticism also (a) paid more attention to COVID-19-related information and worried more about the consequences of the pandemic (crisis preoccupation), and (b) experienced more negative affect during this preoccupation (affective reactivity). These findings offer new insights into the consequences and dynamics of neuroticism in extreme environmental contexts.
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In the current study we sought to extend our understanding of vulnerability and protective factors (the Big Five personality traits, health anxiety, and COVID-19 psychological distress) in predicting generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants (n = 502), who were United States residents, completed a variety of sociodemographic questions and the following questionnaires: Big Five Inventory‐10 (BFI-10), Whitley Index 7 (WI-7), Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), COVID-19 Anxiety Syndrome Scale (C19-ASS), and Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale (PHQ-ADS). Results showed that extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness were negatively correlated with generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms and that neuroticism, health anxiety and both measures of COVID-19 psychological distress were positively correlated with generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms. We used path analysis to determine the pattern of relationships specified by the theoretical model we proposed. Results showed that health anxiety, COVID-19 anxiety, and the COVID-19 anxiety syndrome partially mediated the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms. Specifically, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were negatively associated with the three mediators, which, in turn, were positively associated with generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms, with COVID-19 anxiety showing the strongest effect. Conversely, neuroticism and openness were positively associated with COVID-19 anxiety and the COVID-19 anxiety syndrome, respectively. These relationships were independent of age, gender, employment status and risk status. The model accounted for a substantial variance of generalised anxiety and depression symptoms (R² = .75). The implications of these findings are discussed.
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on human behavior and well-being. Demographic factors and personality traits have been shown to independently influence whether individuals adopt adaptive or maladaptive coping responses. However, to date, researchers have not considered how demographics and personality could interact to influence COVID-19 coping responses. In a sample of 516 North American young adults, we found direct links from two demographic factors (i.e., income and having children) and from multiple personality traits (as captured by the HEXACO model) to adaptive and maladaptive COVID-19 coping responses. We also found that personality indirectly linked a broader range of demographic factors (income, age, gender, having children) with COVID-19 coping responses. We encourage future research on COVID-19 coping responses to consider not just the individual contributions of demographics and personality, but their interdependent influence on whether individuals adopt more or less adaptive COVID-19 pandemic coping responses.
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Prolonged stress is associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes. Understanding the mediators between personality and stress is critical for developing effective stress management interventions during a pandemic. Our study explored whether perceptions of threat from COVID-19 and efficacy to follow government recommendations for preventing COVID-19 would mediate the relationships between personality traits (e.g., neuroticism, conscientiousness-goal-striving, extroversion-activity and sociability) and perceived stress. In an online survey of a representative sample of Canadian adults (n = 1055), we found that higher neuroticism and extroversion were associated with higher levels of stress during the pandemic and a greater increase in stress levels compared to levels before the pandemic. Perceived threat and efficacy significantly mediated the relationship between neuroticism and stress, which suggested that individuals with higher neuroticism experienced higher levels of stress due to higher levels of perceived threat and lower levels of efficacy. Perceived threat did not mediate the relationship between extroverts and stress, which suggested that the source of stress may stem from elsewhere (e.g., inability to socialize). Our findings highlighted that personality traits could be an important factor in identifying stress-prone individuals during a pandemic and that stress management interventions need to be personality specific.