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Evaluation of stress level and its association with personality traits among trainees at an armed forces training establishment

1 Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 O/o DGMS (Navy), IHQ MoD, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh Bobdey,
Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 001, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_26_21

Introduction: Stress cannot be considered a simple “stimulus-response reaction,” but it is a complex interaction between an individual and the environment, comprising subjective perception and evaluation of stressors and then responding in a highly personalized manner. The present study was conducted to assess the personality traits of trainees and explore their association with levels of perceived stress. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted on 911 trainees. For data collection, two instruments were used – Perceived Stress Score by Cohen for assessing stress among the subjects and Revised Neuroticism–Extraversion–Openness Personality Inventory for personality assessment. Results: Overall, the total mean Perceived Stress Score was 12.60 ± 5.62 indicating less than average stress. Only 10.98% of those tested had a score of 20 or more indicating perception of very high stress. Trainees with high perception of stress had significantly higher scores of neuroticism (57.82 ± 9.02, P < 0.05) including all the subfacets. In contrast, trainees with low or average stress perception had significantly higher scores of extraversion (53.57 ± 8.03, P < 0.05) and conscientiousness (54.25 ± 10.30, P < 0.05). Conclusion: The present study is the first of its kind which tries to not only assess the stress levels among trainees but also explore and compare their personality characteristics. The study brings out that majority of the trainees had average stress and provides definitive evidence of association between high neuroticism, low extraversion, and perception of high stress, and offers a window of opportunity to explore options for remedial action such as incorporation of stress coping-up techniques in Armed Forces training curriculum.

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