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J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2014 Mar;21(1):41-55. doi: 10.1007/s10880-014-9387-2.

Personality and illness adaptation in adults with type 1 diabetes: the intervening role of illness coping and perceptions.

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Faculty of Psychology, School Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development, KU Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000, Leuven, Belgium,


Inspired by the common sense model, the present cross-sectional study examined illness perceptions and coping as intervening mechanisms in the relationship between Big Five personality traits and illness adaptation in adults with Type 1 diabetes. A total of 368 individuals with Type 1 diabetes (18-35 years old) completed questionnaires on personality, diabetes-related problems, illness perceptions, and illness coping. First, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness predicted patients' illness adaptation, above and beyond the effects of sex, age, and illness duration. Second, illness coping was found to be an important mediating mechanism in the relationship between the Big Five and illness adaptation. Finally, perceived consequences and perceived personal control partially mediated the relationship between the Big Five and illness coping. These findings underscore the importance of examining patients' personality to shed light on their daily functioning and, hence, call for tailored intervention programs which take into account the personality of the individual patient.

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