Personality and occupational correlates of anxiety and depression in nurses: the contribution of role conflict, core self-evaluations, negative affect and bullying

BMC Psychol. 2022 Sep 10;10(1):215. doi: 10.1186/s40359-022-00921-6.


Background: The work environment and the fatiguing nature of nursing are risk factors that cause psychological disorders. This study was conducted with the aim of investigating the relationship between role conflict, core self-evaluations, negative affect, and bullying with anxiety and depression in nurses.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on the nurses working in hospitals of Bandar Abbas, Iran over 4 months (August 2019-November 2019). Data were collected using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule scale, Role Conflict Questionnaire, Core Self-Evaluations Scale, Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised, Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory. Data were analyzed using t-test, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis using SPSS version 22 software and the significance level was considered 0.05.

Results: The findings revealed that there was a significant positive relationship between role conflict (r = 0.422, p < 0.01), negative affect (r = 0.715, p < 0.01), and bullying (r = 0.443, p < 0.01) with anxiety. Moreover, there was a significant negative relationship between core self-evaluations with anxiety (r = - 0.482, p < 0.01). Also, the findings indicated that there was a significant positive relationship between role conflict (r = 0.382, p < 0.01), negative affect (r = 0.672, p < 0.01), and bullying (r = 0.433, p < 0.01) with depression. There was a significant negative relationship between core self-evaluations and depression (r = - 0.603, p < 0.01). Moreover, regression analysis results revealed that negative affect, role conflict, and core self-evaluations predicted 54.3% of anxiety variance significantly. And lastly, negative affect and core self-evaluations predicted 53.3% of depression variance significantly.

Conclusions: Findings indicated that having high negative affect, low core self-evaluations, high role conflict, and exposure to bullying at work enhances the rate of depression and anxiety in nurses. Hence, it is essential to improve the mental health of nurses and thus the quality of care provided by them through recognizing suitable supportive strategies and interventions.

Keywords: Affect; Anxiety; Bullying; Conflict; Depression; Nurses; Self-evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Humans