Title: Big Five personality types in adolescents with congenital heart disease: Prospective associations with psychosocial functioning and perceived health
Authors: Rassart, Jessica
Luyckx, Koen
Goossens, Eva
Oris, Leen
Apers, Silke
Moons, Philip
Issue Date: Mar-2016
Conference: AEPC Psychosocial Meeting location:Rotterdam, the Netherlands date:16-18 March 2016
Abstract: Introduction. This study aimed (1) to identify different personality types in adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD); and (2) to relate these personality types to psychosocial functioning and several domains of perceived health, both concurrently and prospectively. Hence, this study aimed to expand previous research by adopting a person-centered approach to personality through focusing on personality types rather than singular traits.
Methods. Adolescents with CHD were selected from the database of pediatric and congenital cardiology of the University Hospitals Leuven. A total of 366 adolescents (15-20 years old) with CHD participated at Time 1. These adolescents completed questionnaires on the Big Five personality traits, depressive symptoms, loneliness, and generic and disease-specific domains of health. Nine months later, 313 patients again completed questionnaires.
Results. Cluster analysis at Time 1 revealed three personality types: Resilients (37%), Undercontrollers (34%), and Overcontrollers (29%), closely resembling typologies obtained in previous community samples. Resilients, Under- and Overcontrollers did not differ in terms of disease complexity, but differed on depressive symptoms, loneliness, and generic and disease-specific domains of perceived health at both time-points. Overall, Resilients showed the most favorable outcomes and Overcontrollers the poorest, with Undercontrollers scoring in-between.
Conclusions. Our findings demonstrate the value of looking at personality types based on the Big Five traits instead of relying on rather narrow personality perspectives, such as Type D-personality. Furthermore, they show that by taking into account both personality traits and types, researchers can obtain a detailed view on the associations between personality and health.
Publication status: accepted
KU Leuven publication type: IMa-p
Appears in Collections:School Psychology and Development in Context
Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery

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