, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 245-253

Personality dimensions and measures potentially relevant to health: A focus on hostility

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Although it is clear that chronic, negative socioemotional patterns are associated with poor health and premature death, various overlapping concepts and measures are currently used, making research planning difficult and limiting attempts at theoretical development. This article reviews current issues and reports a study of 36 theoretically interesting and commonly-used personality scales that were administered to 454 undergraduates. The scales included the Cook-Medley scale, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, the Spielberger scales, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, hardiness/alienation scales, NEO Personality Inventory, locus of control, Life Orientation Test, Jenkins Activity Survey, and the Beck Depression Inventory. While research and theory refine the best concepts and measures, studies predicting health from chronic negative patterns may want to include at least four measures: (a) aggressive overt hostility, (b) alienated bitterness, (c) introversion, and(d) anxiety/depression. A measure of conscientiousness is also useful.