The influence of optimism, social support and anxiety on aggression in a sample of dermatology patients. An analysis of cross-sectional data.
The Appearance Research Collaboration,
Background: Individuals with visible skin conditions often experience stigmatisation and discrimination. This may trigger maladaptive responses such as feelings of anger and hostility with negative consequences to social interactions and relationships. \ud Objectives: The present study aimed to identify psychosocial factors contributing to aggression levels in dermatology patients.\ud Methods: Data was obtained from ninety-one participants recruited from out-patient clinics in the north of England, UK. This study used dermatology specific data extracted from a large UK database of medical conditions collected by the Appearance Research Collaboration (ARC). This study looked at the impact of optimism (LOT-R), perceptions of social support (SFSSQ) social acceptance, fear of negative Evaluation (FNE), appearance concern (CARVAL/CARSAL), appearance discrepancy PADQ), social comparison (INCOMM) and wellbeing (HADS) on aggression levels (RAQ) in a sample of dermatology patients.\ud Results: In order to assess the relationship between variables, a hierarchical regression analysis was performed. Dispositional style (optimism) was shown to have a strong negative relationship with aggression (β = -0.37 t =-2.97 p = 0.004). Higher levels of perceived social support were significantly associated with lower levels of aggression (β = -0.258 t = -2.26 p = 0.02). Anxiety was also found to have a significant positive relationship with aggression (β = 0.356, t = 2.564, p = 0.01).\ud Conclusions: The study provides evidence for the importance of perceived social support and optimism in psychological adjustment to skin conditions. Psychosocial interventions provided to dermatology patients might need to address aggression levels and seek to enhance social support and the ability to be optimistic.\ud
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