Congruence of personality trends by strength of intention and eventual choice

Eley, Diann S., Walters, L., Laurence, C., Elliot, T. and Cloninger, R. C. (2014). Congruence of personality trends by strength of intention and eventual choice. In: American Psychological Association 122nd Annual Convention (APA 2014), Washington, United States, (). 6-10 August 2014.

Author Eley, Diann S.
Walters, L.
Laurence, C.
Elliot, T.
Cloninger, R. C.
Title of paper Congruence of personality trends by strength of intention and eventual choice
Conference name American Psychological Association 122nd Annual Convention (APA 2014)
Conference location Washington, United States
Conference dates 6-10 August 2014
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Poster
Open Access Status
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Statement of the problem
The rural medical workforce shortage is particularly acute in Australia and aggravated by an inequitable distribution of doctors between rural and urban areas. Previous studies have identified several variables that are mildly predictive of students and Registrars (doctors in training) choosing to practice in a rural location. Intention is known to be a strong predictor of behaviour [1] and of rural practice 10 years later [2]. There is value in measuring intention early in training to identify individuals who may benefit from guidance toward a rural career. Previous studies have begun to establish a pattern of personality traits associated with Australian family practitioners (FP) who choose to practice rural [3, 4]. This study explored the trait profiles of FP Registrars with various levels of intention toward rural practice including those who eventually chose rural.

Participants were 450 FP Registrars in training across three states in Australia. In 2012 a cross sectional design used a self-report survey comprising demographic questions and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R140) [5] to measure levels of the seven basic dimensions of personality. T-tests and ANOVA, (one-way and two-way), compared groups. All analyses used a 95% confidence interval. Registrars were stratified by a question which asked their level of intention to practice in a rural area on a five point scale which was collapsed to create three groups; ‘little/no intention’, ‘strong/definite intention’, and ‘already rural’.

The distribution of Registrars between the three groups of ‘little/no intention’, ‘strong/definite intention’, and ‘already rural’ was 132(29%), 223(50%) and 95(21%) respectively, and the proportion of females in each was; 45%, 70% and 58% respectively. The majority age group was 22-31 years (195; 44%) followed by 32-41years (158; 35%), and 77% of all Registrars were married or partnered. More Registrars in the ‘strong/definite intention’, and ‘already rural’ groups reported growing up in a rural location although these proportions were not significant.

The ‘strong/definite intention’, and the ‘already rural’ groups showed lower levels of Harm Avoidance [F=10.08, (2,447), p=.001] and higher levels of Persistence [F=3.55,(2,447), p=.03], and Self-directedness [F=5.12,(2,447),p=.006] compared to the ‘little/no intention’ group. The ‘already rural’ and the ‘strong/definite intention’ groups were not significantly different from each other in any of the traits.

This study provides new insight into the characteristics associated with various levels of intention to practice rural. Data show that the personality trait profiles of Registrars who have already chosen, or have the strongest intention to practice rural are significantly different to those with little or no intention. In particular they show lower Harm Avoidance and higher Persistence and Self-directedness which are congruent with previous studies on the temperament and character trait profiles of doctors practicing long term in rural or remote locations. This suggests that more attention should be paid to students and doctor trainees who show a genuine interest in and intention to follow specific career pathways or specialities. A better understanding of the trait similarities between levels of intention and eventual choice could inform recruitment and counselling of individuals most suited to certain professions.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Poster Session Personality and Individual Differences. Poster number H-3.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Wed, 22 Jan 2014, 09:38:43 EST by Diann Eley on behalf of School of Medicine