The knowledge of patient’s personality characteristics provides useful information to professionals in clinical settings since these characteristics have shown to have relevant implications for health, disease, quality of life and progress of treatments. Similarly, it is known that personality variables influence coping strategies related to decision making and these, in turn, are related to certain health variables such as level of anxiety, subjective well-being or response to treatment. However, although personality and coping assessment is essential in clinical mental health settings, adequate tools are often not available or do not provide adequate psychometric properties in clinical samples, which implies relevant limitations in the interpretation of results. In this context, this dissertation focuses on two main objectives: on the one hand, to analyse the psychometric properties of two assessment instruments, the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (ZKPQ) and the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE), and on the other hand, to analyse the contribution of the ZKPQ personality dimensions to the COPE-48 coping strategies, as well as the relationship between both constructs. Our research it is constituted by three studies. Study 1: We administered the ZKPQ to 314 adult outpatients with psychopathology. The internal consistency pattern of the ZKPQ scales was similar to that found in previous studies. Our sample scored higher in Neuroticism-Anxiety and Aggression-Hostility, and lower in Sociability and Activity, compared to a sample of the general population. Study 2: We administered the COPE to a sample of 301 adult outpatients attending a primary care psychiatry unit. A principal component analysis found a nine-factor solution that improved the original one and increased the reliability of the scales. We suggested a more reliable and parsimonious version of the instrument, the COPE-48. Study 3: We administered the ZKPQ and COPE-48 to a sample of 261 adult outpatients with psychopathology. All personality variables were related to specific coping strategies. In particular, Neuroticism-Anxiety had a positive association with strategies related to emotional expression, while Sociability was positively associated with the search for social support. Our study provides mental health professionals with two assessment tools with adequate psychometric properties. A better understanding of these personality traits and coping strategies, and the relation between them, will allow to better adapt psychological treatments and to create therapeutic plans that are specifically suited to the individual characteristics of each patient.
|Date of Award||10 Nov 2017|
|Supervisor||Montserrat Gomà Freixanet (Director)|