Depression and Bipolar info explaining the latest research in everyday English

2Jan/10Off

Personality, health and coping

A Singaporean and Australian co-study, 189 Australian and 243 Singaporean university students (therefore, not a typical subset of the population, please note) completed the ‘Life Orientation Test-Revised’ and found some interesting differences.

Australians tended to be more agreeable, more conscientious, more optimistic and more satisfied with their lives.

On the other hand, Singaporeans tended to be more neurotic and pessimistic.

Using regression analysis, the researchers found that ‘optimism’ is the only significant predictor for life satisfaction.

Which means that if we want to be satisfied with our lives, being optimistic is an essential psychological component; without it we won’t be satisfied.

Similarly, if we want to be less stressed, we need to be less neurotic.

I know, it sounds obvious, doesn’t it. But obvious or not, such findings lend credence to previous findings that neuroticism is not a single ‘thing’ in our psychology, but comprised of many things (such as a lack of optimism, self-doubt, self-blame, emotional instability and worry).

Optimism, on the other hand, is a singular element in our psychology – you either have/create it within you or you don’t.

There is a difference, allegedly, between how the two nationalities deal with stress: Australians use more ‘tactics’ (both helpful and not-so-helpful) such as:

  • distraction
  • denial
  • substance use/abuse
  • emotional support
  • behavioural disengagement
  • venting and self-blaming
  • humour
  • reframing
  • acceptance (the ‘it is what it is’ or ‘build a bridge and get over it’ tactic)

Singaporeans, however, when faced with stressful situations are less likely to use any of the above positive tactics, which the authors of the study suggest may imply a general apathy toward coping tactics, no matter how adaptable that tactic might be to the situation at hand.

----------

Source:
Wong, S.S.; Lee, B.O.; Ang, R.P.; Oei, T.P.S.; & Ng, A.K. 2009. Personality, Health, and Coping: A cross-national study. Cross-Cultural Research, 43, 3; pp. 251-279


Please see our medical disclaimer.

 

   

Depression and Bipolar info is using WP-Gravatar