The role of personality in exposure and reactivity to interpersonal stress in relation to arthritis disease activity and negative affect in women

Bruce W. Smith, Alex J. Zautra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The role of personality in the stress process was examined in older women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) and in healthy controls (HCs). Reactivity was examined in relation to arthritis disease activity and negative affect. Interpersonal sensitivity and neuroticism were measured in questionnaires, and interpersonal stress, negative affect, and disease activity were assessed weekly for 12 weeks. Interpersonal sensitivity was defined as an excessive sensitivity to the behavior and feelings of others. Regarding exposure, neuroticism was related to interpersonal stress for all groups. Regarding reactivity, interpersonal sensitivity interacted with interpersonal stress to predicted elevations in negative affect in all groups and elevations in disease activity in the arthritis groups. There were no significant differences in the effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Arthritis
  • Disease activity
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Personality
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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