A Predictive Research on Psychosomatic Symptoms with Personality Dimensions, Self-Experience Inconsistency, and Behavior Inhibition
2007, 39 (05):
On the basis of the theoretical analysis on the concept of personality and mental health, this research was aimed at establishing a structural equation between personality dimensions, self-experience inconsistency, behavior inhibition, and psychosomatic symptoms.
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The Chinese personality model was proposed as a seven-factor model in contrast to the Western five-factor model; further, the Chinese personality could be classified at four different levels according to observability: overt behavior, inner experiences, motivation, and physical reactions. Further, psychological health was proposed at four levels, namely, overt psychosomatic symptoms, self-experience inconsistency, behavior inhibition, and positive psychological characters. Previous researches revealed that personality dimensions correlated significantly with overt psychosomatic symptoms, self-experience inconsistency, and behavior inhibition.
Meanwhile, hardiness was proposed as a positive index of health, and the following three were regarded the valid components of hardiness: control, commitment, and challenge. Further, 18 secondary factors of the Chinese personality could be categorized into three groups: control, commitment, and challenge.
The current research proposed the following four hypotheses. (1) Dimensions of the Chinese personality could predict mental health directly or indirectly, that is, the variances of self-experience inconsistency were explained mostly, and behavior inhibition were the middle, and psychosomatic were the least by personality dimensions. (2) The human relations dimension of the Chinese personality indicated characters of interpersonal behavior, while the other six dimensions of the Chinese personality were related with self-related characteristics. Further, it was hypothesized that in comparison to the other six dimensions, human relations has a lesser effect on self-experience inconsistency. (3) Of the seven dimensions of the Chinese personality, behavior styles, talents, and ways of life indicated mainly characteristics of object-related behavior; they were hypothesized as significant indicators of behavior inhibition. (4) Self-experience inconsistency and behavior inhibition could influence psychosomatic health directly; further, self-experience inconsistency could influence psychosomatic health indirectly through behavior inhibition.
More than 600 subjects, including farmers, workers, businessmen, intellectuals, college students, and government executives, aged between 15 to 69, were required to complete the following four questionnaires: Chinese Personality Scale (QZPS), Self-Consistence and Congruence Scale (SCCS), Behavior Inhibition Scale (BIS), and SCL-90. Correlation, regression, and structural equation analysis supported and validated all of the abovementioned hypotheses. In other words, personality dimensions could directly and indirectly (through self-inconsistency and behavior inhibition) predict symptoms positively or negatively. Moreover, self-inconsistency, behavior inhibition, and psychosomatic symptoms could act as a mental health index; in addition, they correlated closely. On the other hand, psychosomatic symptoms act as a final and explicit exhibition of mental illness, and self-inconsistency acts as a deep and implicit exhibition of mental illness; behavior inhibition act as behavioral indicators of psychosomatic symptom and self-inconsistency features between the two.
According to the results of the structural equation analysis, the dimensions of (1) extroversion, kindness, and ways of life were proposed as health-promoters, (2) behavior styles and emotionality as health-inhibitors, and (3) talents as health promoter-and-inhibitor. These three groups of the Chinese personality dimensions comprised all three components of hardiness, respectively. Therefore, we can state that the validation of the Western concept of hardiness failed and that further research on hardiness is needed. Meanwhile, different relationship models of personality dimensions and perspectives on mental health, limitations of the current research, and further research directions were also discussed in this paper