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Poster: Does conscientiousness cause well being - it depends on your neighborhood (SPSP 2014)

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Published on February 17, 2014

Author: chrismartin76

Source: slideshare.net

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Does Conscientiousness Cause Well-Being? It Depends on Your Neighborhood Chris C. Martin & Corey L. M. Keyes | chris.martin@emory.edu | Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA Introduction Methods The Conventional View We used data from both waves (1995/2005) of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the U.S. (MIDUS), and analyzed submissions from all subsamples— main, siblings, twins, and city oversamples (N = 3,843). ‣ Conscientiousness is virtuous—it promotes well-being (Roberts, Jackson, Fayard, Edmonds, & Meints, 2009). ‣ Well-being ensues from health, goal fulfillment, and income, all of which are attainable if one exerts self-control, which is a facet of conscientiousness. ‣ Well-being also ensues from social relationships. Conscientiousness contributes to relationship quality, and predicts a lower risk of divorce and infidelity among spouses. ‣ When interacting with others, less conscientious people tend to be irresponsible and impulsive. Relating Conscientiousness to Ecological Constraints ‣ In unsafe neighborhoods, conscientious people may incur equal costs and benefits . ‣ Because conscientious people are restrained, they may develop a reputation for being easily exploitable and slow to enact revenge. ‣ In addition, they may abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, which increase well-being under high-stress conditions (Jackson, Knight, & Rafferty, 2010). ‣ Thus, conscientiousness may be a mitigated virtue in these conditions. Hypothesis ‣ 1: Stable high conscientiousness is salutary in safe neighborhoods but neutral in unsafe neighborhoods. ‣ 2: Growth in conscientiousness is salutary in safe neighborhoods but neutral in unsafe neighborhoods Results Maximal Growth in Conscientiousness Stability in Conscientiousness Maximal Decline in Conscientiousness 6 5 Measures 6 5 ‣ Conscientiousness was measured using the MIDUS adjectival scale comprising “organized,” “responsible,” “hardworking,” and “careless” (α = .57; Trapnell & Wiggins, 1990). ‣ Neighborhood safety was measuring used a scale of perceived neighborhood quality and health (Keyes, 1998). Respondents indicated how closely four statements described their situations, e.g., "I feel safe being out alone in my neighborhood during the daytime” (α = .64). EWB EWB 4 4 3 0 Data Analysis ‣ Response surface analyses were used to model the effects of stability vs. change in conscientious. The covariates were EWB at time 1, Age (log), female, married, self-rated health, and education. References 3 0 1.5 1.5 0 0 -1.5 Safe Neighborhoods -1.5 -1.5 -1.5 ‣ Emotional Well-Being (EWB) was computed by summing positive affect (PA) and life satisfaction (SWLS). PA was measured by asking how frequently respondents felt six facets of positive affect. SWLS was measured with a single item (Cantril, 1966). 1.5 1.5 Unsafe Neighborhoods ‣ A Chow test was used to compare the polynomial regression coefficients across the two models. This test confirmed that the two surfaces differed from each other, χ2(5) = 12.04 , p = .034. ‣ Hypothesis 1 was falsified: High stable conscientiousness predicted well-being in both situations. ‣Hypothesis 2 was supported. Growth in conscientiousness was beneficial in safe neighborhoods. In unsafe neighborhoods, moderate growth was beneficial, whereas maximal growth was neutral. ‣ In both safe and unsafe neighborhoods, a low stable level of conscientiousness and decline in conscientiousness were associated with lower well-being. Cantril, H. (1966). The Pattern of Human Concerns. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers. Jackson, J. S., Knight, K. M., & Rafferty, J. A. (2010). Race and unhealthy behaviors: chronic stress, the HPA axis, and physical and mental health disparities over the life course. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 933–939. Keyes, C. L. M. (1998). Social well-being. Social Psychology Quarterly. 61(2), 121– 140. Roberts, B. W., Jackson, J. J., Fayard, J. V., Edmonds, G., & Meints, J. (2009) Conscientiousness. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (pp. 369-381). New York, NY: Guilford. Trapnell, P. D., & Wiggins, J. S. (1990). Extension of the Interpersonal Adjective Scales to include the Big Five dimensions of personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 781–790. Conclusion Although conscientiousness is typically considered virtuous, it may be a mitigated virtue. As shown in the current study, there are ecological moderators of the association between conscientiousness and emotional well-being. In unsafe neighborhoods, growth in conscientiousness may extract costs by increasing the risk of crime victimization and decreasing the adoption of stress-relieving habits. Interventions to increase conscientiousness should take these costs into account.

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