The Role of Self-Efficacy as a Mediator on the Axis Personality Traits–Self-Efficacy–Academic Stress

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Lucie Křeménková, Jan Sebastian Novotný


Several studies have linked university students’ personality traits and self-efficacy to perceived academic stress. However, there is a lack of knowledge about more complex interactions of these constructs. The present paper aims to explore the relationship between the Big Five personality traits, self-efficacy and academic stress, and the possible mediating role of self-efficacy among Czech university students of education. The sample consisted of 443 university students of education. The participants completed the General self-efficacy questionnaire, Ten Item Personality Measure, and Olomouc Questionnaire of Academic Stress. The GSE was positively correlated with TIPI personality traits, and negatively correlated with academic stress domains. The TIPI personality traits were negatively correlated with academic stress domains. A path analysis showed that extraversion (β=.09, CI=.025-.163), emotional stability (β=-.12, CI=-.198 to -.053), and openness to experience (β=-.09, CI=-.168 to -.021) predicted learning-related academic stress. Agreeableness predicted social life-related academic stress (β=-.16, CI=-.241 to -.067). Finally, extraversion (β=-.04, CI=-.087-.018), emotional stability (β=-.16, CI=-.213 to -.105), and openness to experience (β=-.11, CI=-.165 to -.064) predicted self-efficacy, which was predictive of learning-related (β=-.24, CI=-.311 to -.168) and social life-related academic stress (β=-.22, CI=-.151-.014). Also, social life-related stress predicted learning-related stress (β=.18, CI=.107-.248) and time-related stress (β=.44, CI=.369-.506), which predicted learning-related stress (β=.36, CI=.298-.426). The final model explained 42 % of learning-related (R2=.423), 24 % of time-related (R2=.244), and 13 % of social life-related (R2=.129) academic stress. The results of the study indicate that personality traits and self-efficacy affect mainly learning-related academic stress, and that self-efficacy acts as a significant mediator of the relationship between personality and academic stress.

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