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Relationship between the big five personality traits and PTSD among French police officers

Abstract : Introduction Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is rare among police officers, but the symptoms of PTSD are not. Personality traits can be a contributing factor of stress disorders. Based on the big five personality traits, three personality profiles can be identified: resilient, overcontrolled and undercontrolled. Resilient people are characterized by high emotional stability (low neuroticism), high social skills and self-confidence. Overcontrollers have higher scores on neuroticism and they tend to internalize their negative emotions. Undercontrollers are characterized by low conscientiousness (impulsivity), a tendency toward social withdrawal and low self-esteem. Objective The aim of this study was to examine the role of personality traits and profiles in the emergence of PTSD symptoms among French police officers. Method Participants were French national police officers (n = 100, M = 32.9 years, SD = 9.8, 19–57) who completed the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Scale (PCLS) and the Big Five Inventory (BFI). Results Results revealed the three expected personality profiles: resilients (n = 31), overcontrollers (n = 43) and undercontrollers (n = 19). The resilients presented with the fewest PTSD symptoms and the undercontrollers with the most (particularly reexperiencing). The latter also scored the highest on neuroticism and the lowest on extraversion and agreeableness. Police officers with an undercontrolled profile were also the oldest or those who had served the longest in the police force. Neuroticism and length of service were the two predictors of PTSD symptoms for reexperiencing and avoidance. Conclusion This study demonstrates the contribution of each personality trait and length of service to PTSD symptoms in French police officers.
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https://hal.univ-angers.fr/hal-02363162
Contributor : Catherine Potard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, September 17, 2021 - 9:19:08 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 1:10:05 PM

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Anais Madamet, Catherine Potard, Isabelle Huart, W. El-Hage, Robert Courtois. Relationship between the big five personality traits and PTSD among French police officers. European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 2018, 2 (2), pp.83-89. ⟨10.1016/j.ejtd.2017.11.001⟩. ⟨hal-02363162⟩

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