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Personality Styles That Either Protect or Make Individuals' Health More Vulnerable in a Portuguese Sample

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Abstract:

This research was aimed at analyzing the personality styles that either protect an individual's health or make it more vulnerable, from the viewpoint of Theodore Millon's personality model (2004). Personality and physical health (health complaints and self-perceived health), as well as psychological health (anxiety, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction) were examined in 300 Portuguese participants. Correlational analysis and the analysis of differences of means both revealed statistically significant associations between personality scales measuring more adapted aspects with high health status, whereas the personality scales that assess less adapted aspects are associated with poor health. A maladapted personality with a background of emotional instability, as well as a tendency to inhibit these emotions in social interaction, constitutes a fertile field for poor health and, perhaps, for the appearance and development of disease. On the other hand, the personality styles associated with good health are characterized by facing life with optimism and determination, turning to others for information, and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships based on self-confidence.

Keywords: HEALTH; MILLON INDEX OF PERSONALITY STYLES; PERSONALITY STYLES; PORTUGAL

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2008.36.10.1411

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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