You’re better off than me: Personality predictors of relative deprivation in youth
Keywords:relative deprivation, self-esteem, neuroticism, openness to experience, sensation seeking, youth, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Feelings of being deprived in comparison to similar others have occupied authors from multiple disciplines, primarily as a potential predictor of various individual and societal outcomes, especially among youth. The present study,
however, aims to explore whether this subjective relative deprivation, both individual and collective, can itself be predicted from particular personality variables, to shed more light on individual dispositions that lead to (un)favorable perceptions of contextual circumstances. Therefore, within the frame of Relative Deprivation Theory, this correlational study, including 735 participants recruited through the public educational system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (mean age 18.72; SD=1.54), indicated that lower levels of self-esteem and openness to experience, and higher levels of neuroticism and sensation-seeking are associated with higher relative deprivation. Canonical regression analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between personality and relative deprivation, deriving a significant canonical root (λ of .799, F(8,1384)=20.583, p=.000), accounting for 21% (rc=.444) of the variance shared between the variable sets. Personality traits’ contribution to the collective relative deprivation was lower than to the individual. The article analyzes the role that selected personality traits might play in the perception of one’s deprivation. Recommendations are given regarding future research to include a more diverse set of personality traits as predictors.
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