The five-factor traits as moderators between job insecurity and health: A vulnerability-stress perspective

Dragos Iliescu*, Irina Macsinga, Coralia Sulea, Gabriel Fischmann, Tinne Vander Elst, Hans De Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the moderating effects of the broad personality traits associated with the five-factor model (FFM) of personality, on the relationship between qualitative and quantitative job insecurity (JI) and physical and mental health complaints. Design/methodology/approach: Self-report data collected in a cross-sectional study from a heterogeneous sample of 469 Romanian employees was analyzed with hierarchical regressions in order to identify moderation effects between each personality trait, JI and health outcomes. Findings: Neuroticism and introversion amplify the relationship between JI and mental health complaints. None of the other personality traits showed any significant interaction with JI. No moderating effects were found for physical health complaints. Quantitative and qualitative JI show a high correlation and similar relationships with other variables, but may not be part of the same larger factor. Practical implications: The FFM has a lower contribution than expected in explaining the JI-health dynamic, with only 2 out of 5 reaching significance. The personality traits of neuroticism and introversion function as moderately strong vulnerability factors in the JI-mental health relationship, and may be used by managers in identifying employees who are at risk in situations when JI is likely to appear. Originality/value: The authors offer overall support for the main effect model in the relationship between JI and health, showing that, while some broad personality traits buffer the negative effect of JI in a fairly strong manner, this effect may be very difficult to completely abolish. The authors further show that quantitative and qualitative JI are very closely related facets of the broader JI construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-418
Number of pages20
JournalCareer Development International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Health complaints
  • Job insecurity
  • Personality
  • Vulnerability-stress model


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