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Big Five Personality Factors as Predictors of Positive Mental Health

Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek, David Lester and Mahboubeh Dadfar


Published: 2021/06/01


Most studies on mental health have adopted the classical medical model which defines mental health as low scores on measures of psychopathological symptoms and disorders. In contrast, the Arabic Scale of Mental Health (ASMH) was developed on the basis of positive indicators of mental health. The aim of the present study was to examine the associations between ASMH scores and Big-Five (BF) personality trait scores. A convenience sample of Egyptian college students (n = 1,418) responded to the ASMH and the Arabic Big Five Personality Inventory (ABFPI). Both scales have acceptable to good reliability and validity. Men obtained significantly higher mean scores than women on mental health, Extraversion, and Openness, whereas women scored significantly higher than men on Neuroticism. All correlations between mental health and BF scores were statistically significant and positive except for Neuroticism (negative). A principal components analysis extracted two components labeled: positive traits and social adjustment versus negative emotions. Stepwise regression indicated that the predictors of ASMH scores were all the BF scores for men and all the BF scores except Agreeableness for women. This study shows that mental health is associated with, and can be predicted by, personality traits. The Big-Five personality traits have no theoretical basis and it would, therefore, be interesting in future research to explore whether mental health is associated with and predicted by biologically based temperaments.

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