Medical excuse making and individual differences in self-assessed health: The unique effects of anxious attachment, trait anxiety, and hypochondriasis

Katherine T. Fortenberry, Deborah J. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Psychological processes are critical to understanding self-assessed health. While the literature suggests that motivated or self-enhancing processes contribute to this understanding, such processes have not been adequately explored. In a sample of healthy young adults (n = 271; 49.1% female), we used structural equation modeling to examine whether trait anxiety (TA), hypochondriasis (H), and anxious attachment (AA) relate to self-assessed health through a motivated process of medical excuse-making. When each personality variable was examined individually, medical excuse-making partially mediated its relationship with self-assessed health. When the three individual difference variables were examined simultaneously, medical excuse-making partially mediated the relationship of TA and H with self-assessed health, but AA was no longer related to self-assessed health. All effects remained after statistically controlling reported medical conditions. Results suggest medical excuse-making substantially contributes to self-evaluations of health, particularly among anxiety-prone individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Fingerprint

Hypochondriasis
Individuality
Anxiety
Health
Diagnostic Self Evaluation
Personality
Young Adult
Psychology

Keywords

  • Anxious attachment
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Mediation between personality and health
  • Self assessed health
  • Self-enhancement
  • Trait anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Medical excuse making and individual differences in self-assessed health : The unique effects of anxious attachment, trait anxiety, and hypochondriasis. / Fortenberry, Katherine T.; Wiebe, Deborah J.

In: Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 43, No. 1, 07.2007, p. 83-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{be2e946e8c504db892c93942ec45fd10,
title = "Medical excuse making and individual differences in self-assessed health: The unique effects of anxious attachment, trait anxiety, and hypochondriasis",
abstract = "Psychological processes are critical to understanding self-assessed health. While the literature suggests that motivated or self-enhancing processes contribute to this understanding, such processes have not been adequately explored. In a sample of healthy young adults (n = 271; 49.1{\%} female), we used structural equation modeling to examine whether trait anxiety (TA), hypochondriasis (H), and anxious attachment (AA) relate to self-assessed health through a motivated process of medical excuse-making. When each personality variable was examined individually, medical excuse-making partially mediated its relationship with self-assessed health. When the three individual difference variables were examined simultaneously, medical excuse-making partially mediated the relationship of TA and H with self-assessed health, but AA was no longer related to self-assessed health. All effects remained after statistically controlling reported medical conditions. Results suggest medical excuse-making substantially contributes to self-evaluations of health, particularly among anxiety-prone individuals.",
keywords = "Anxious attachment, Hypochondriasis, Mediation between personality and health, Self assessed health, Self-enhancement, Trait anxiety",
author = "Fortenberry, {Katherine T.} and Wiebe, {Deborah J.}",
year = "2007",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1016/j.paid.2006.11.009",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "43",
pages = "83--94",
journal = "Personality and Individual Differences",
issn = "0191-8869",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Medical excuse making and individual differences in self-assessed health

T2 - The unique effects of anxious attachment, trait anxiety, and hypochondriasis

AU - Fortenberry, Katherine T.

AU - Wiebe, Deborah J.

PY - 2007/7

Y1 - 2007/7

N2 - Psychological processes are critical to understanding self-assessed health. While the literature suggests that motivated or self-enhancing processes contribute to this understanding, such processes have not been adequately explored. In a sample of healthy young adults (n = 271; 49.1% female), we used structural equation modeling to examine whether trait anxiety (TA), hypochondriasis (H), and anxious attachment (AA) relate to self-assessed health through a motivated process of medical excuse-making. When each personality variable was examined individually, medical excuse-making partially mediated its relationship with self-assessed health. When the three individual difference variables were examined simultaneously, medical excuse-making partially mediated the relationship of TA and H with self-assessed health, but AA was no longer related to self-assessed health. All effects remained after statistically controlling reported medical conditions. Results suggest medical excuse-making substantially contributes to self-evaluations of health, particularly among anxiety-prone individuals.

AB - Psychological processes are critical to understanding self-assessed health. While the literature suggests that motivated or self-enhancing processes contribute to this understanding, such processes have not been adequately explored. In a sample of healthy young adults (n = 271; 49.1% female), we used structural equation modeling to examine whether trait anxiety (TA), hypochondriasis (H), and anxious attachment (AA) relate to self-assessed health through a motivated process of medical excuse-making. When each personality variable was examined individually, medical excuse-making partially mediated its relationship with self-assessed health. When the three individual difference variables were examined simultaneously, medical excuse-making partially mediated the relationship of TA and H with self-assessed health, but AA was no longer related to self-assessed health. All effects remained after statistically controlling reported medical conditions. Results suggest medical excuse-making substantially contributes to self-evaluations of health, particularly among anxiety-prone individuals.

KW - Anxious attachment

KW - Hypochondriasis

KW - Mediation between personality and health

KW - Self assessed health

KW - Self-enhancement

KW - Trait anxiety

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33947599119&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33947599119&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.paid.2006.11.009

DO - 10.1016/j.paid.2006.11.009

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33947599119

VL - 43

SP - 83

EP - 94

JO - Personality and Individual Differences

JF - Personality and Individual Differences

SN - 0191-8869

IS - 1

ER -