Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Big five personality traits and the general factor of personality as moderators of stress and coping reactions following an emergency alarm on a swiss university campus
Authors: Hengartner, Michael Pascal
van der Linden, Dimitri
Bohleber, Laura
von Wyl, Agnes
DOI: 10.1002/smi.2671
Published in: Stress & Health
Volume(Issue): 33
Issue: 1
Page(s): 35
Pages to: 44
Issue Date: Feb-2016
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Wiley
ISSN: 1532-3005
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 155: Differential and developmental psychology
Abstract: We conducted an online survey including 306 participants aged 18-64 years to assess the general factor of personality (GFP) and Big Five personality traits in relation to individual stress and coping reactions following a shooting emergency alarm at a Swiss university campus. Although the emergency eventually turned out to be a false alarm, various witnesses showed pronounced distress owing to a vast police operation. The GFP structure was replicated using two alternative modelling approaches. Neuroticism related substantially to acute fear and traumatic distress as well as to more enduring maladaptive coping. Agreeableness was negatively associated with the coping strategy of medication use, whereas both agreeableness and conscientiousness related positively to social activity following the emergency. The GFP related moderately to peri-traumatic distress and showed a substantial negative association with medication use and a strong positive association with social activity. In conclusion, both the GFP and Big Five traits significantly moderate stress responses following a stressful life event. The GFP predominantly relates to socially adaptive coping, whereas in particular neuroticism accounts for acute stress reactions such as fear and traumatic distress. These findings support the notion that personality influences how persons react in the face of adversity.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Psychology
Organisational Unit: Psychological Institute (PI)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Psychologie

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