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Predicting proximal health responses to reminders of death: the influence of coping style and health optimism

Predicting proximal health responses to reminders of death: the influence of coping style and health optimism
Predicting proximal health responses to reminders of death: the influence of coping style and health optimism
Research derived from terror management theory (TMT) suggests that conscious contemplations of mortality instigate efforts to remove such threatening cognitions from focal attention. Though efforts to manage death concerns in focal attention can positively affect one's health (e.g., engaging in health conscious behavior), such efforts can also negatively affect one's health (e.g., denying vulnerability to disease). The current research explores how individual differences in coping style and health optimism relate to the ways in which people respond to death-related cognitions in focal attention. Study 1 found that adaptive coping was associated with increased health behavioral intentions immediately after death thoughts were made salient (i.e., when death thoughts were still in focal attention) but not after a delay. Study 2 found that immediately after death thoughts were made salient, health optimism was associated with increased disease-detecting behavioral intentions relating to breast cancer. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed
terror management, coping style, health optimism
0887-0446
593-614
Arndt, Jamie
9f74041c-58f9-43b5-96f1-19dda49b7d87
Routledge, Clay
c1e0088a-3cc4-4d54-bbd3-de7d286429d8
Goldenberg, Jamie L.
0a9ae29b-37be-441a-b401-b95baaac3880
Arndt, Jamie
9f74041c-58f9-43b5-96f1-19dda49b7d87
Routledge, Clay
c1e0088a-3cc4-4d54-bbd3-de7d286429d8
Goldenberg, Jamie L.
0a9ae29b-37be-441a-b401-b95baaac3880

Arndt, Jamie, Routledge, Clay and Goldenberg, Jamie L. (2006) Predicting proximal health responses to reminders of death: the influence of coping style and health optimism. Psychology and Health, 21 (5), 593-614. (doi:10.1080/14768320500537662).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Research derived from terror management theory (TMT) suggests that conscious contemplations of mortality instigate efforts to remove such threatening cognitions from focal attention. Though efforts to manage death concerns in focal attention can positively affect one's health (e.g., engaging in health conscious behavior), such efforts can also negatively affect one's health (e.g., denying vulnerability to disease). The current research explores how individual differences in coping style and health optimism relate to the ways in which people respond to death-related cognitions in focal attention. Study 1 found that adaptive coping was associated with increased health behavioral intentions immediately after death thoughts were made salient (i.e., when death thoughts were still in focal attention) but not after a delay. Study 2 found that immediately after death thoughts were made salient, health optimism was associated with increased disease-detecting behavioral intentions relating to breast cancer. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed

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More information

Published date: 2006
Keywords: terror management, coping style, health optimism

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 44927
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/44927
ISSN: 0887-0446
PURE UUID: 73f20336-8695-41b0-aa71-d8ed56dce357

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Date deposited: 21 Mar 2007
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 21:06

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