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Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry

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Effects of Personality Traits, Religiousness/ Spirituality on Adolescent Psychopathology in Benin City

AN Otakpor, OO Akanni

Abstract


Background: The rising prevalence of mental health morbidity among adolescents is worrisome because of  the potentia   for dire consequences. Knowledge of predictive factors that contribute to this situation is considered invaluable. This study aims to determine the effect of personality traits and  religiousness/spirituality on adolescent psychopathology.

Methods: The research design was cross-sectional. Big Five Personality Inventory (BFI-44),   Ironson–Woods Spirituality/Religiousness Index (IWSRI), and the General Health Questionnaire   (GHQ-28) were administered to 412 randomly selected senior secondary school students to evaluate personality traits, spirituality/religiousness, and psychopathology respectively.

Re sul ts : Adolescents  wi th psychopathology (GHQ-Positive) had significantly higher neuroticism (p=.000), lower agreeableness (p=.001) and conscientiousness (p=.000); and low levels of religiousness and spirituality scores. High neuroticism (p=.000) and low 'Religious Behaviour' (p=.000) significantly  predicted psychopathology. Religiousness and spirituality were negatively associated with  neuroticism, but positively associated with conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness; and no association with extraversion.

Conclusion: The findings of the study provide empirical support for the influence of some personality traits and low religiousness/spirituality on psychopathology among adolescents in this environment. Further  studies in an effort to replicate these findings and to subsequently include them in adolescent mental  health promotion programs are advocated.

Keywords : Spirituality , Religiousness, Personality traits, Psychopathology, Adolescents




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