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Keywords:

  • emotional stability;
  • cognitive ability;
  • adjustment;
  • military

Abstract

Cognitive ability has been shown to moderate the relations between emotional stability and self-reports of well being. The present study examined whether this interaction effect generalizes to non-self-report measures of well being. Male conscripts (N = 152) completed an emotional stability scale and a cognitive ability test. Several indicators of their general adjustment and competence were derived from self- and superior-ratings, a psychiatric interview and from military archives. Cognitive ability moderated the association of emotional stability with both self-report and non-self-report indicators of adjustment and competence. Low emotional stability was related to adverse outcomes only among low cognitive ability individuals. The results support the idea that cognitive ability buffers the influence of emotional stability on well being. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.