Relationships between the stress, well-being and personality levels of nursing and psychology students
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Background. Various studies have demonstrated that nursing is a very stressful occupation and that levels of well-being in nurses are lower than that of individuals in other occupations. Personality has also been shown to relate to stress and well-being levels. This study examines self-reported personality, stress and well-being levels in nursing students (n = 22) and psychology students (n = 57). Method. Personality was measured using the short version of Goldberg’s International Personality Item Pool. Stress was assessed with Cohen et al’s (1983) Perceived Stress Scale, and well-being with Diener et al’s (1985) Satisfaction with Life Scale. The analysis of data included assessments of normality, reliability, correlations, regression analyses, and t-tests. Results. The results showed that type of course had no effect on levels of stress or well-being. Neuroticism was found to correlate with both stress and well-being, while extraversion was found to relate only to well-being. Conscientiousness correlated positively with stress levels. These were confirmed by a hierarchical regression. No relationships were found for openness and agreeableness for either stress or wellbeing. Well-being and stress were found to correlate negatively with each other. Conclusions. Certain aspects of personality seem to have a stronger effect on stress and well-being than others. Stress and well-being levels do not seem to have a relationship with type of course. Well-being and stress have strong links with each other. These findings are discussed with reference to methodological issues and possible further research.