Socioeconomic Status Moderates the Association Between John Henryism and NEO PI-R Personality Domains


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Abstract

Objective:To investigate associations between John Henryism (JH) and NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (PI-R) personality domains. JH—a strong behavioral predisposition to engage in high-effort coping with difficult psychosocial and economic stressors—has been associated with poor health, particularly among persons in lower socioeconomic (SES) groups. Unfavorable personality profiles have also been frequently linked to poor health; however, no studies have yet examined what global personality traits characterize JH.Methods:Hypotheses were examined, using data from a sample of 233 community volunteers (mean age, 33 years; 61% black and 39% white) recruited specifically to represent the full range of the SES gradient. Personality (NEO PI-R) and active coping (12-item JH scale) measures and covariates were derived from baseline interviews.Results:In a multiple regression analysis, independent of SES, JH was positively associated with Conscientiousness (C) (p < .001) and Extraversion (E) (p < .001), whereas the combination of low JH and high SES was associated with Neuroticism (N) (p = .02) When examining associations between JH and combinations of NEO PI-R domains called “styles,” high JH was most strongly associated with a high E/high C “Go-Getters” style of activity, whereas low JH was associated with the low E/high Openness (O) “Introspectors” style. In facet level data, the most robust associations with JH were found for five C and five E facets.Conclusions:High JH was associated with higher scores on C and E, but the combination of low JH and high SES was associated with higher scores on N.[]

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