Type D personality mechanisms of effect: the role of health-related behaviour and social support

Lynn Williams, R.C. O'Connor, S. Howard, B. Hughes, D. Johnston, J.L. Hay, D.B. O'Connor, C.A. Lewis, E. Ferguson, N.P. Sheehy, Madeleine Grealy, R.E. O'Carroll

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172 Citations (Scopus)


To (a) investigate the prevalence of type-D personality (the conjoint effects of negative affectivity and social inhibition) in a healthy British and Irish population; (b) to test the influence of type-D on health-related behavior, and (c)to determine if these relationships are explained by neuroticism. A cross-sectional design was employed; 1012 healthy young adults (225 males, 787 females, mean age 20.5 years) from the United Kingdom and Ireland completed measures of type-D personality, health behaviors, social support, and neuroticism. The prevalence of type-D was found to be 38.5%, significantly higher than that reported in other European countries. In addition, type-D individuals reported performing significantly fewer health-related behaviors and lower levels of social support than non-type-D individuals. These relationships remained significant after controlling for neuroticism. These findings provide new evidence on type-D and suggest a role for health-related behavior in explaining the link between type-D and poor clinical prognosis in cardiac patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • cardiovascular disease
  • health-related behavior
  • neuroticism
  • social support
  • type-d personality


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