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Agentic and communal traits and health: adolescents with and without diabetes.

journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2012 by Vicki S Helgeson, Dianne K Palladino, Vicki Helgeson, Dianne K. Palladino

The authors examined whether agentic and communal traits are associated with relationship and health outcomes among adolescents with and without diabetes. They interviewed 263 teens (average age 12; 132 Type 1 diabetes; 131 healthy) on an annual basis for 5 years. The authors measured agency, communion, unmitigated agency, and unmitigated communion as well as parent and peer relationship quality, psychological distress, and diabetes health. In concurrent and lagged multilevel models, unmitigated communion and unmitigated agency were associated with poor relationship outcomes and greater psychological distress for those with and without diabetes. In lagged analyses, unmitigated communion predicted deterioration in diabetes health. Communion and agency were associated with positive relationship and health outcomes, with the former being stronger than the latter. These results underscore the need to focus on unmitigated agency and unmitigated communion when studying the implications of personality for health during adolescence.