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Personality as a predictor of job stress among teachers' college lecturers in Zimbabwe.

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This quantitative-dominant mixed methods sequential explanatory study sought to investigate how personality predicts job stress in a sample of Zimbabwean teachers’ college lecturers from an agrarian collectivistic culture. Key concepts were illustrated using the five-factor model of personality, the Cultural Transactional Theory of Stress and Coping, and the Job-Demands- Resources model. 211 lecturers were surveyed using four self-report measures; Occupational Stress Survey, Oldenburg Burnout Inventory; Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced, and the Big Five Personality Test. Thirty (30) participants were purposefully selected using maximal variation sampling for the in-depth interview. Multiple linear regressions identified dominant personality traits that predicted job stress, burnout and coping. Correlation analyses determined the shared associations between personality traits and dominant job stress, burnout, and coping dimensions. Extraversion was a weak predictor of demands and control. Extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness showed a low correlation with exhaustion. Coping was related to conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Lecturers reported an immense workload, which was made more stressful by under-staffing and large classes. They disengaged from their jobs because these were mechanical and routine. Lecturers reported exhaustion caused by the pressure of deadlines, which caused imbalance in work-life. They also used a range of coping strategies to mitigate the negative impact of job stress and burnout. This study adds to the existing literature on the stress of lecturers, and provides some evidence to support the universality of traits. Implications of stress, burnout and coping are highlighted.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.