Psychological flexibility, temperament, and perceived stress
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Institute of Psychology, Advanced Clinical Studies and Therapy Excellence, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2020-11-17
Final revision date: 2021-03-18
Acceptance date: 2021-07-25
Online publication date: 2021-10-31
Publication date: 2021-12-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2021;9(4):306–315
Psychological flexibility (PF) is an ability to engage in meaningful actions regardless of the presence of difficult internal experiences. Higher psychological flexibility was found to be related not only to a lower level of the symptoms of psychopathology, but also with better functioning, lower stress levels and higher well-being. As temperament impacts preferred styles of action, data on the relationships between temperament, psychological flexibility and other criteria can provide ideas on how to improve the process of PF development. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between psychological flexibility, temperament traits and perceived stress.

Material and methods:
A total of 254 people, aged 18-93, recruited directly by 13 pollsters from a local community sample, took part in the study. Temperamental traits were operationalized according to the regulative theory of temperament. Participants completed self-report measures.

Psychological flexibility was predicted by emotional reactivity and perseveration and it was a significant predictor of stress beyond and above temperamental traits. While the relationship between stress and two temperamental traits – emotional reactivity and perseveration – was partially mediated by psychological flexibility, activity was related to stress directly.

Psychological flexibility is determined by temperamental traits to some extent. Further research on psychological flexibility and temperament needs to take an empirical design and test possible reciprocal effects.

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