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Person Variables and Health: Personality Predispositions and Acute Psychological States as Shared Determinants for Disease

Scheier, Michael F. PhD; Bridges, Michael W. MS

Special Issue: Superhighways for Disease

This article reviews prospective evidence linking certain classes of person variables to multiple disease end points.Included in the review is a consideration of the effects of hostility and anger, emotional suppression, depression, fatalism, and pessimism on coronary heart disease, cancer, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A model is presented that integrates several of these variables into an overall conceptual scheme. In addition, several variables are identified that appear to moderate the strength of the relationships that are found between person variables and health. The article concludes with some suggested directions for future research.

From the Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Address reprint request to: Michael F. Scheier, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15215.

Received for publication August 9, 1994; revision received December 1, 1994.

Copyright © 1995 by American Psychosomatic Society
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