Illness reporting and the influence of personality factors

L. Spillane*, R. Spillane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between personality factors and illness reporting is investigated in light of the persistent claim that a 'complaining' response set (that is, personality trait) systematically distorts self ratings of illness. Managers and blue- and white collar employees numbering 723 in a large manufacturing organisation rated serious and minor illnesses and three personality factors: extraversion, anxiety and dominance. Age and gender effects with respect to illness are noted. Age corrected correlations between illness and personality yielded significant, though small relationships with dominance. However, the three personality factors inter-correlated to a very high degree yielding a Type A personality cluster which did not correlate with minor or serious illness reporting. There is therefore no evidence of a substantial 'complaining' response set in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-358
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Causal relationships
  • Illness reporting
  • Personality factors
  • Stress factors


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