Current Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 50–66 | Cite as

Hostility and health: Mediating effects of belief systems and coping styles

  • Debra J. VandervoortEmail author


The present study investigates the relationship between hostility, health, belief systems, and ways of coping with anger, anxiety, and sadness in a college student sample. Hostility is of interest in the health psychology literature because it has been associated with coronary heart disease, other illnesses, and general mortality. The results reveal that relative to their low-hostility counterparts, individuals scoring high on the Cook and Medley Hostility Scale report poorer physical health and a belief system characterized by vindictiveness, pessimism, unrealistic expectations of the self and others, and a desire to avoid difficulties. They were also more likely to employ confrontive and escape-avoidance coping styles when dealing with anger and escapeavoidance strategies in coping with anxiety and sadness. Irrational beliefs and escapeavoidance coping with anger were found to play a mediating role in the relationship between hostility and health. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.


Coping Style Behavioral Medicine Irrational Belief Current Psychology Psychosomatic Medicine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawaii at HiloUSA

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