Personality traits and stress perception as predictors of students' online engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic

Martyn Quigley*, Alexander Bradley, David Playfoot, Rachel Harrad

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with increasing student numbers means online learning will remain a prevalent feature of the university experience, therefore it is vital that we understand how personality can influence student online engagement. The current study examined whether students' personality traits and stress perception predicted their online engagement with their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. A sample of 301 first year psychology students completed the Big Five Inventory, Challenge and Hindrance Stress Scales, and the Online Student Engagement Scale, which measured students': engagement skills, emotional engagement, participation and performance. Results revealed that conscientiousness positively predicted all types of online engagement. Extraversion predicted participation and performance. Neuroticism predicted engagement skills, emotional engagement and performance, whilst agreeableness and openness to experience respectively predicted participation and emotional engagement. Additionally, stress perceived as a hindrance negatively predicted performance. These results reveal that students' personality traits and stress perception influence their online engagement and might enable educators to identify those who may require support in engaging with their studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number111645
    Number of pages6
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Early online date8 Apr 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


    • Big Five
    • COVID-19
    • personality traits
    • stress perception
    • student online engagement


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