Road to Mental Health: From Personality through Subjective Well-Being

 

Deepa K Damodaran      

Research Scholar, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore Tamilnadu.

*Corresponding Author Email: kdeepsin@yahoo.co.in

 

 


INTRODUCTION:

Diener, Seek, and Oishi1 proposed that high SWB means many pleasant and few unpleasant experiences and high life satisfaction. Practitioners of complementary medicine see well-being as a state of harmony, a balance between internal and external worlds2. Thus, a person’s state of well-being is not solely depending upon a number of external factors but also on internal psychological factors. More specifically, personality factors have an influencing role3 as revealed through personality research 4.

 

The most commonly known and utilized theories that link personality to SWB are the temperamental models which suggest the biological involvement on one’s level of happiness and instrumental perspective that suggests the indirect link whereby Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness affect SWB5. Other models explaining relationship between personality and SWB are viz., return to baseline approach, emotion socialization approaches, cognitive approaches, congruence approaches, homeostasis approach and goal approaches.

 

Nurses constitute frontline health professionals and are the major workforce in the health sector who comes to terms with many difficult issues from in and out of their work. They deal with the sick and suffering people and are prone to experience fluctuating levels of SWB. Most of the research studies on nurses’ well-being have been focused on well-being in relation to their job6, 7 .

 

Thus the present study was conducted to explore the influence of personality on their subjective well-being through the following research question: whether personality orientations play a role on the SWB of nurses? The objective of the study was to determine the nature of personality orientations of staff nurses by classifying them in to high and low personality types based on the extroversion, neuroticism and psychoticism dimensions; and to compare the levels of different personality dimensions to understand the levels of subjective well-being. It was hypothesized that there will be significant differences in SWB of nurses between high and low groups of personality dimensions. 

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

For the present descriptive cross sectional study registered nurses (n=157) involved with bed side nursing care who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria from a selected Medical College Hospital were selected through convenience sampling technique. Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire- (Revised)8 and Subjective Well-Being Inventory (SUBI) 9 were used after testing for reliability to collect the data. The tool consists of Part A. Demographic proforma to obtain information on age, gender, education, designation, professional experience, marital status, monthly income and the type of the family, Part B. Eysenck’s Personality  Questionnaire- (Revised) and Part C. Subjective Well-Being Inventory (SUBI). The main study was conducted after obtaining formal administrative permission from authorities, ethical clearance from Ethics committee of JMMCH & RI, Thrissur and informed verbal consent from subjects.

 

Statistical analysis was done with SPSS 17 for windows. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sociodemographic variables and One-way ANOVA was applied to analyze the difference in SWB among nurses based on various personality dimensions.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

The mean age of the sample was 24 years. Most of the nurses were unmarried (82.80%) females (65.61%) who had completed General Nursing and Midwifery (96.18%) and had less than 6 years (59.24%) of professional experience. Majority had a monthly income less than 5000 rupees (71.97%) and was from nuclear families (85.99%).

 

One-way ANOVA evaluating the relationship of personality dimensions on SWB showed that there are significant differences in SWB between the high and low groups of personality dimensions. 

 

Table.1

One way ANOVA on levels of extraversion and subjective well-being of nurses                                                                          N=157       

Source

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Between high and low Extraversion groups

592.269

1

592.269

7.261

.008

Within high and low Extraversion groups

11501.703

141

81.572

 

 

Total

12093.972

142

 

 

 

 

 

As indicated in Table-1 One-way ANOVA showed that there is significant difference in SWB among nurses who are high extroverts and those who are low extroverts. The present findings replicate the findings of other studies and have supportive evidences from them. Several studies have indicated that extraversion is one of the strongest predictors of SWB10-13. When extraversion is predominant it positively associates with SWB 14-16. As extraverts are characterized by their sociability, assertiveness, venturesome nature and impulsive behaviour14,15 they experience high levels of happiness 16. Hence, it seems that the sociability component of extraversion along with interpersonal and communication skills related to the profession accounts for the present findings.

 

Table.2

One way ANOVA on levels of neuroticism and subjective well-being of nurses                                                                            N=157

Source

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Between high and low Neuroticism groups

3163.268

1

3163.268

52.345

.000

Within high and low Neuroticism groups

8520.802

141

60.431

 

 

Total

11684.070

142

 

 

 

 

One-way ANOVA evaluating the influence of neuroticism dimension on SWB showed that there is significant difference in SWB based on levels of neurotic dimension of nurse’s personality as shown in Table.2. Individuals who are high on neurotic dimension are emotionally unstable and fearful in a variety of situations in everyday life as reported by8,15. Neuroticism is found to be one of the strongest predictors of SWB10-12,14. Hills and Argyle17,18 and Chan and Josch19 reports strong negative association between neuroticism and psychological well-being. Personal, work-related, and client-related burnout is more reported among neurotic nurses20.

 

Table.3

One way ANOVA on levels of psychoticism and subjective well-being of nurses                                                                          N=157

Source

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Between high and low Psychoticism groups

380.129

1

380.129

4.782

.030

Within high and low Psychoticism groups

10811.407

136

79.496

 

 

Total

11191.536

137

 

 

 

 

On analysis high and low psychoticism groups significantly differ on SWB that reflect the influence of the psychotic characteristics on SWB as shown in Table. 3.   The findings on the influence of psychoticism on SWB are consistent with findings from previous studies21, 22. The above findings revealed that SWB of staff nurses differs significantly based on their predominant personality trait which means that individual difference in personality traits per se influences SWB. Findings of this study confirm the importance of considering personality variables during several occasions while dealing with nurses as employees. During pre-employment screening, career guidance of novices in the field, and while evaluating their job satisfaction SWB can be a key determinant.

 

The present study has following limitations: non probability sampling; inclusion of single setting; lack of post hoc analyses. Future studies can explore level of well-being among professionals from various disciplines, with larger samples, and also examine the predictors of nurses’ well-being.

 

CONCLUSION:

Nurses constitute the significant part of health care force that is accountable for quality care. The nursing profession has to go a long way toward utilizing its members more effectively and efficiently. Employees may be at risk for emotional distress and psychological problems due to rapid changes in their well-being. SWB is largely influenced by one’s personality. Personality characteristics will also affect the character of nursing relationships and their behaviour thereby affects the quality of care they provide. Thus it is very essential to plan and implement measures to improve nurses’ well-being.

 

REFERENCES:

1.       Diener E, Seek E and Oishi S. Recent findings on subjective wellbeing, SEARO, Regional Health papers. 7: WHO, NewDelhi.1997.

2.       Peters D and Schickle P. Wellbeing and Performance:  Unilever Health Institute symposium series. Unilever Health Institute, Netherlands. 2003.

3.       Diener E and Lucas RE. Personality and subjective wellbeing. In Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology, Edited by  Kahneman D, Diener E, and  Schwarz N. Russell Sage, New York. 1999: pp. 213-229.

4.       Goldberg LR. International Personality Item Pool: A scientific collaboratory for the development of advanced measures of personality and other individual differences.  Available from: URL: http:// 80-ipip.ori.org/ipip/

5.       McCrae R and Costa PT. Adding Liebe und Arbeit: The full five-factor model and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 17(2); 1991: 227–232.

6.       Walters V, French S, Eyles J, Lenton R, Newbold B and Mayr J. The effects of paid and unpaid work on nurses' well-being: the importance of gender. Sociology of Health and Illness. 19; 1997: 328-347.

7.       Geiger-Brown J, Trinkoff AM, Nielsen K, Lirtmunlikaporn S, Brady B and   Vasquez EI. Nurses’ perception of their work environment, health and well-being: a qualitative perspective. American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal.,  52; 2004: 16-22.

8.       Eysenck HJ and Eysenck MSBG. Manual of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. University of London Press, London. 1964.

9.       Nagpal RL and Sell H. Subjective well-being. WHO, NewDelhi. 1985.

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14.     Argyle FM and Lu L. The happiness of extroverts. Personality and Individual Differences. 1; 1990: 1011-1017.

15.     Idczak SE. A study on nursing students’ experiences of being and presence: A Hermeneutic Approach. Available from: URL: http//www.apa.org/psycharticles.

16.     Lu LA and Shih JB. Personality and happiness: is mental health a mediator?. Personality and Individual Differences. 22; 1997: 249-256.

17.     Hills P and Argyle M. Emotional stability as a major dimension of happiness. Personality and Individual Differences. 31; 2001a: 1357-1364.

18.     Hills P and Argyle M. Happiness, introversion, extroversion, and happy introverts. Personality and Individual Differences. 30; 2001b:595-608.

19.     Chan R and Josch S. Dimension of personality, domains of aspiration, and subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences. 28; 2000: 347-354.

20.     Shimizutani M, OdagiriY, Ohya Y, Shimomitsu T, Kristensen TS, Maruta T etal. Relationship of nurse burnout with personality characteristics and coping behaviours. Industrial Health. 46 (4); 2008: 326-35.

21.     Hart K E. Coping with anger-provoking situations: adolescent coping in relation to anger reactivity. Journal of Adolescent Research. 6; 1991: 357–370.

22.     Frijda NH. Emotions and action. In Feelings and emotions: The Amsterdam symposium, Edited by Manstead ASR, Frijda N and Fischer A. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2004: pp. 158–173. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Received on 02.09.2013           Modified on 28.10.2013

Accepted on 24.12.2013           © A&V Publication all right reserved

Int. J. Adv. Nur. Management 2(1):Jan. - Mar., 2014; Page 01-03