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Individual differences, mood and coping : a process analysis of daily chronic pain Newth, Sarah Jane

Abstract

This study addresses recent calls in the literature to explore both general trends and individual differences in the process of coping and associated health outcomes as they unfold across time (Parker & Endler, 1996; Tennen & Affleck, 1996; Tennen, Affleck, Armeli & Carney, 2000). Twice daily for one week, 71 individuals coping with RA pain reported on their pain severity, coping efforts, and negative mood via a structured diary. Each of the Big Five personality dimensions (i.e., neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) and disease status information were measured via questionnaire. Using these two sources of data (i.e., time variant and time invariant data) both idiographic and nomothetic patterns in the associations among daily negative mood, coping and pain were examined. Temporal associations among these variables within the unfolding of a single day were tested via Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM; Bryk & Raudenbush, 1992), a statistical technique recommended for use with multi-level data collected across time. First, the tested models examined the temporal associations between mood and pain within days. Second, the moderating role of coping efforts, personality and disease status was examined. Third, the moderating role of personality and disease status in both coping use and coping effectiveness was explored. The findings from this study suggest fluctuations in negative mood and ways of coping have an impact upon how subjective pain experience unfolds within the course of a single day. The findings also suggest that these temporal associations are at times moderated by both contextual and person factors.

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