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The Relation of Optimism to Cardiac Patients’ Subjective Health Through Illness Representations: Does the Level of Optimism Matter?

Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS,volume 51)

Abstract

Dispositional optimism represents a crucial aspect of human functioning and a major determinant of health and well-being for both healthy and patient populations. In the study reported here, we examined whether optimism is related to chronic cardiac patients’ (N = 233) subjective health through illness representations as well as whether this relation is conditional on the values of optimism. A cross-sectional design with a bootstrapping analysis framework was employed. According to the findings, dispositional optimism was related to patients’ physical and psychological subjective health with several illness representations serving as mediators, even after controlling for demographic and illness-related variables. Most of these relations were, however, conditional on the values of optimism: the relations of illness representations to subjective health scores were statistically nonsignificant at the higher levels of optimism resulting, thus, in statistically nonsignificant indirect effects of optimism on subjective health. In other words, higher levels of optimism were in any case associated with better subjective health, regardless of illness representation. Yet, at average and lower levels of optimism, a more “positive” perception of illness was related to better subjective health. Such findings indicate that the “optimism–illness representations–health” interaction functions in a rather complex way.

Keywords

  • Dispositional Optimism
  • Illness Representation
  • Emotional Representation
  • High Optimism
  • Indirect Relation

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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Fig. 10.1
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Correspondence to Evangelos C. Karademas .

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Karademas, E.C., Frokkai, EF., Tsotra, E., Papazachariou, R. (2012). The Relation of Optimism to Cardiac Patients’ Subjective Health Through Illness Representations: Does the Level of Optimism Matter?. In: Efklides, A., Moraitou, D. (eds) A Positive Psychology Perspective on Quality of Life. Social Indicators Research Series, vol 51. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4963-4_10

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