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.
- Anxious attachment
- Mediation between personality and health
- Self assessed health
- Trait anxiety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Social Psychology