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Type D Personality and Coping Style as Predictors of Cardiovascular Risk

Description: Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) does not occur until mid to late life for most adults, the presence of risk factors for CVD, such as high blood pressure (BP) and high cholesterol, has increased dramatically in young adults. Type D personality consists of two personality traits, negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI), and has repeatedly been shown to be an independent predictor of hard medical outcomes (e.g. morbidity and mortality) in cardiac patients. The present study examined the relationships between Type D personality (high NA and high SI), coping strategies, and physiological markers of cardiovascular health in a sample of non-medical, university students. Measures of cardiovascular risk included high frequency heart rate variability (HF HRV), calculated LDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Regression analyses revealed that higher use of social supportive coping was a significant predictor of calculated LDL cholesterol. Social supportive coping was also shown to moderate the relationship between Type D personality and HF HRV. Interventions that target psychological and physiological mechanisms associated with CVD are well developed. Clear identification of young adults who are at risk of developing CVD is necessary to intervene in a manner that could potentially save lives. Additional systematic research, especially if it is longitudinal, will help to clarify the ability of Type D personality and coping to predict CVD.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Martin, Luci A.

A Randomized Clinical trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in a College Student Population

Description: Nearly 10% of college students experience chronic insomnia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) is an empirically validated multi-component treatment that has been demonstrated to produce reliable and durable benefits in the general adult population. However, there have been no studies examining the effectiveness of multi-component CBTi in a college student population, even though many studies have examined the efficacy of single treatment modalities. These young adults are different from the general adult population because they are in a unique transitional developmental phase as they are maturing from adolescence into adulthood, they are sleepier than adults, they tend to have irregular sleep schedules, and their living situations are often different from the general adult population. In this study college students with chronic insomnia were randomly assigned to either six sessions of CBTi or a wait list control (WLC) group. All participants completed sleep diaries, sleep measures, and psychosocial measures. The results indicated students who received CBTi showed improvements in sleep efficiency (SE), sleep onset latency (SOL), number of awakenings (NWAK), time awake after sleep onset (WASO), and sleep quality (SQ). They also had decreased insomnia severity (ISI), dysfunctional beliefs about sleep (DBAS), and general fatigue (MFI), as well as increases in global sleep quality (PSQI).
Date: August 2011
Creator: Zimmerman, Marian Rose