In search of personality and temperament predictors of chronic fatigue: a prospective study

H.J. Michielsen, J. de Vries, G.L. van Heck

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    14 Citations (Scopus)
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    This prospective study examined the relationships between temperament and personality, on the one hand, and chronic fatigue, on the other hand. The temperament variables were the Five-Factor-Model dimensions Emotional stability and Extraversion as well as Pavlovian temperament traits. The personality variables were the Five-Factor-Model dimensions Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Autonomy, plus hardiness and Type A behavior pattern. It was expected that these person characteristics were negatively linked to fatigue except for (1) Type A and (2) Conscientiousness and Autonomy, which were scrutinized in an exploratory way. Respondents (N=351), working at least 20 h per week, completed two surveys. The first survey contained the temperament and personality questionnaires and the fatigue scale, while the second one, 2 years later, included the fatigue scale. Results indicated that high scores on the Five-Factor-Model dimensions Emotional Stability and Extraversion, the Pavlovian temperament variable Strength of Inhibition, and the hardiness component Commitment predicted lower fatigue scores. However, when in the analysis fatigue measured 2 years earlier was controlled for, only Extraversion and Strength of Inhibition appeared to be good predictors. Even so, these two predictors did not explain a large proportion of the variance. When men and women were examined separately, personality and temperament predicted almost nihil. In conclusion, when fatigue measured earlier is controlled for, the direct role of temperament and personality decreases enormously.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1073-1087
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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