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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Anna Walsh

HLTB01H3S: Health, Aging and the Life Cycle Department of Health Studies University of Toronto at Scarborough Winter 2010 A&G: Ch 9 - The Interface Between Physical and Mental Health. Stress and Mental Health. A&G: Ch 10 - Stress, Coping, and Health. Chapter 9 The Interface between Physical and Mental Health Personality Processes and Disease The idea that personality characteristics are related to health and illness is not new, by any means. Hippocrates believed that substances called humors influenced both personality and health Galen extended this belief, the four primary humors were: o Blood - ruddy, sanguine personality o Melancholy (black bile) depression and degenerative disease o Choler (yellow bile) angry and bitter o Phlegm - apathy Rene Descartes coined the term dualism, mind and body were separate entities, connected through the pineal gland Sigmund Freud is credited with developing the first Western scientific theory of mind, and he believed that eventually psychological phenomena would be traced back to neurophysiological events More recent research has reinstated the relationship between personality and disease outcomes. Mind and body are connected in a bidirectional (reciprocal relationship between physical or psychological health) or transactional manner (continuous process of change among multiple variables) Personality process psychological factors studied in connection with health and aging include traits, affective states, psychological symptoms and beliefs and attitudes (i.e. optimism can be a personality or an affective state) Three negative emotions linked to disease are hostility, depression and anxiety Control, self-efficacy, optimism, and emotional stability are protective Psychological Risk Factors and Health 1
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