Work addiction and personality: A meta-analytic study

Bernadette Kun*, Zsofia K. Takacs, Mara J. Richman, Mark D. Griffiths, Zsolt Demetrovics

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

During the past three decades, research interest in work addiction has increased significantly. Most definitions concerning work addiction have specifically contained personality-related elements. However, the results of empirical studies concerning personality and work addiction are both few and mixed. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of personality in the background of work addiction.

The present study systematically reviewed and empirically carried out a meta-analysis on all the published studies examining the association between personality variables and work addiction (n = 28).

The results of the meta-analysis indicated that perfectionism, global and performance-based self-esteem, and negative affect had the strongest and most robust associations as personality risk factors of work addiction. Among the Big Five traits, extraversion, conscientiousness, and intellect/imaginations showed positive relationships with work addiction. However, these associations were weak.

Based on the meta-analysis, personality appears to explain only a small amount of the variance of work addiction and further studies are needed to assess the interaction between individual and environmental factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-966
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number4
Early online date24 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • work addiction
  • workaholism
  • personality
  • meta-analysis
  • Big Five personality traits


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