Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Meredith Carroll

Second Advisor

Michael A. Gallo

Third Advisor

Rian Mehta

Fourth Advisor

Jessica L. Wildman


The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between personality traits, affective domain variables, safety climate, and safety behaviors of certified flight instructors (CFIs). Personality traits consisted of the five dimensions of the Big Five personality model, including Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Openness, and Conscientiousness. Affective domain variables included self-efficacy and risk perception. The study used an explanatory correlational design to determine the relationship between the targeted factors and safety behaviors. The dependent variable was CFIs’ safety behaviors. The sample consisted of 134 CFIs who completed all of the study’s protocols. Participants were obtained from a professional flight instructor organization called National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) and some flight training schools. A hierarchical regression analysis found Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and flight school’s safety climate were significant predictors of CFIs’ safety behaviors at Stage 1 and Stage 3 respectively. An independent mediation analysis also found that the relationship between flight instructors’ Conscientiousness, Neuroticism personality traits and their safety behaviors was partially mediated by their self-efficacy. Findings were consistent with aspects of the Big Five personality model (Goldberg, 1990), and plausible explanations are grounded in Bandura’s self-efficacy theory (1977). The study’s findings provided strong evidence that flight instructors’ personality traits are potential indicators of their future safety behaviors and flight school’s safety climate will also influence the safety behaviors of CFIs. The current findings align with research in construction, aviation, and nuclear power plant domains.


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