What role does neuroticism play in the association between negative job characteristics and anxiety and depression?

Thomas Booth, Aja Louise Murray, Kate Marples, Mark Batey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many studies have established an association between job characteristics and anxiety and depression and noted that personality characteristics such as neuroticism likely play a role in creating or modifying these associations. Few studies, however, have explicitly tested or compared these possible alternative roles. In this study, we tested several specific hypotheses about neuroticism and its effects on job characteristics, anxiety and depression and their association in a series of structural equation models. Participants (N = 372) completed the Big Five Inventory, Job Contents Questionnaire and General Health Questionnaire. We tested (a) whether neuroticism is likely to be an important confounder of the association between job characteristics and anxiety and depression and (b) whether neuroticism moderates the association between job characteristics and anxiety and depression. Results indicated large attenuations by neuroticism of the association between job characteristics and anxiety and depression but there remained significant effects of psychological demands on anxiety, and social support on depression independent of neuroticism. Evidence was also found for interaction effects between neuroticism and decision latitude, with those lower in neuroticism being at higher risk for depression under conditions of low control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-427
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013

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