The relationship between Type D personality and physical health complaints is mediated by perceived stress and anxiety but not diurnal cortisol secretion

Michael A. Smith, Victoria C. Riccalton, Denise H. Kelly-Hughes, Olivia A. Craw, Sarah F. Allen, Daryl B. O’Connor, Mark A. Wetherell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Type D personality has been associated with minor health complaints in the general population and dysregulation of basal cortisol secretion in coronary patients. The aims of the present study were to investigate (i) whether there is an association between Type D personality and basal cortisol secretion in the general population, and (ii) whether subjective measures of stress and anxiety, as well as indices of basal cortisol secretion, mediate the relationship between Type D personality and self-reported physical symptoms in this group. Self-report measures of stress, trait anxiety and physical symptoms were provided by 101 individuals aged 18–45 years. Saliva samples were also provided over two consecutive “typical” days, to enable indices of the cortisol awakening response and diurnal cortisol profile to be determined. There was a significant relationship between Type D personality and self-reported physical symptoms, which was fully mediated by subjective stress and anxiety. However, there were no significant relationships between Type D personality and the basal cortisol indices. These findings suggest that the association between Type D personality and minor health complaints in the general population can be explained by feelings of stress and anxiety, but a precise biological mechanism for this link is yet to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalStress
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018

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