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Psychol Health. 2018 Oct 8:1-16. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2018.1508684. [Epub ahead of print]

Type D personality and social relations in adults with diabetes: results from diabetes MILES - The Netherlands.

Author information

a CoRPS , Tilburg University , Tilburg , The Netherlands.
b Department of Medical Psychology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands.
c Diabeter, National diabetes treatment center for children, adolescents and young adults , Rotterdam , The Netherlands.
d School of Psychology , Deakin University , Geelong , VIC , Australia.
e The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes , Melbourne VIC , Australia.
f University of Southern Denmark , Odense , Denmark.



To examine whether individual differences in Type D personality (combination of negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI)) could explain heterogeneity in perceived social support and relationship adjustment (intimate partner relationship) among people living with diabetes.


In the Diabetes MILES-The Netherlands survey, 621 adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (54% female, age: 56 ± 14 years) completed measures of Type D personality (DS14), perceived social support and relationship adjustment. We used established DS14 cut-off scores to indicate Type D personality, high NA only, high SI only and reference groups.


Participants from the Type D and NA only groups perceived lower levels of social support (Welch[3,259] = 37.27, p < 0.001), and relationship adjustment (Welch[3,191] = 14.74; p < 0.01) than those from the SI only and reference groups. Type D was associated with lower social support (lowest quartile; adjusted OR = 8.73; 95%CI = 5.05 ∼ 15.09; p < 0.001) and lower relationship adjustment (lowest quartile; adjusted OR = 3.70; 95%CI = 2.10 ∼ 6.53; p < 0.001). Type D was also associated with increased levels of loneliness.


Participants with Type D and participants with high NA only tend to experience less social support and less relationship adjustment. Type D personality was also associated with more loneliness. Experiencing lower social support and relationship adjustment may complicate coping and self-management in people with diabetes.


Type D personality; diabetes mellitus; social support; spouses

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