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Keywords:

  • conscientiousness;
  • cognitive appraisal;
  • daily hassles;
  • stress

Abstract

Conscientiousness (C) is positively associated with health and longevity although the mechanisms underlying this relationship are not fully understood. Stress may play a role in explaining the C–longevity relationship. This study investigated whether C predicted the cognitive appraisals of daily stressors/hassles. Participants (N = 102) completed measures of C and cognitive appraisal in relation to the most stressful hassle they had experienced in the last 7 days. Correlational analysis revealed that Total C, Order and Industriousness were positively correlated with primary appraisals, and Responsibility was positively correlated with secondary appraisals. The facets of C were then entered into hierarchical regression models, controlling for age and gender. This demonstrated that Order (β = 0.27, p < 0.05) and Industriousness (β = 0.28, p < 0.05) significantly predicted primary appraisals, accounting for 15.8% of the variance. Responsibility significantly predicted secondary appraisals (β = 0.44, p < 0.01), accounting for 16.3% of the variance. These findings indicate that higher Order and Industriousness are related to having a greater stake in daily stressors, whereas higher Responsibility is related to greater confidence in one's ability to deal with daily stressors. These results are the first demonstration that C is related to the appraisals of daily hassles and suggest that C may moderate the experience of stress in daily life. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.