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Type D personality, stress, and symptoms of burnout: The influence of avoidance coping and social support

Polman, Remco; Borkoles, Erika; Nicholls, Adam R.


Remco Polman

Erika Borkoles

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Professor Adam Nicholls
Professor of Psychology/ Leader of the Sport Psychology and Coaching Group


Objective. This study investigated whether approach coping, avoidance coping, or perceptions of available social support mediated the relationship between Type D personality and perceived stress. Furthermore, this research also examined whether Type D moderated the relationship between perceived stress and symptoms of burnout. Methods. In this cross-sectional study, 334 (male N = 180; female N = 154) first-year undergraduate students completed the Type D Scale-14 (DS14), the Brief Approach/Avoidance Coping Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory. Design. Cross-sectional. Results. Multiple mediation analysis revealed that only resignation and withdrawal coping, but not social support partially mediated the relationship between Type D and perceived stress. A small moderation effect was found for the disengagement subscale of the burnout inventory, with Type D individuals experiencing higher levels of disengagement at low and average stress levels. The correlations between variables provided support for most of the prediction from the literature with regard to Type D. Conclusion. Of the participants in the present study, 24.9% were classified as Type D. These individuals tend to use more passive and maladaptive avoidance coping strategies such as resignation and withdrawal. This is associated with higher levels of perceived stress and linked to increased levels of burnout symptoms


Polman, R., Borkoles, E., & Nicholls, A. R. (2010). Type D personality, stress, and symptoms of burnout: The influence of avoidance coping and social support. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(3), 681-696.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 30, 2010
Online Publication Date Dec 24, 2010
Publication Date 2010-09
Print ISSN 1359-107X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 681-696
Keywords Acute coronary syndrome; Heart-disease
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