Influence of students' personality on their leisure behaviour choices and moderating effects on their academic efficacy: An exploratory study

Susen Köslich-Strumann, Christoph Strumann, Edgar Voltmer


Studying can be very stressful leading to a decreased academic efficacy. In this exploratory longitudinal study, we analysed a wide range of students' leisure activities and their effects on students' academic efficacy. Further, we identified the personality types of students who choose specific leisure activities as a strategy to stress reduction and determined how the use of leisure behaviours affects academic performance among students with different personality types. Students were asked about their personality (Neo-FFI), leisure time behaviour (self-generated items), and academic efficacy (MBI-SS) at three measurement points. Multivariate regression analyses were applied to estimate the moderation effects. In total, 331 students were included in the study. Social activities were found to have a direct effect on academic efficacy. The students' personality moderated the effects of leisure behaviour on efficacy, suggesting a negative effect on academic efficacy for some personality traits. Since our results suggest that the effectiveness of stress management through the use of leisure behaviour depends on the students' personality, universities offering stress management services should pay attention to precise targeting to attract the specific students who might benefit the most from the offered services.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0280462
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e0280462
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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