Resilience and distress among young adults with chronic health conditions: A longitudinal study


Wright, Erika; Elliott, Timothy R.; Kwok, Oi-Man; Zhang, Qiyue; & Spooner, Mikaela (2023). Resilience and distress among young adults with chronic health conditions: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Health Psychology.


Objectives To test the beneficial associations of a resilient personality prototype among emerging adults with chronic health conditions (CHC) over an 8-year period. Design Longitudinal, prospective observation study. Methods Data obtained from emerging adults in the Add Health project with a CHC and completed study measures at two time points (286 men, 459 women) were examined. Cluster analysis was used to identify a resilient personality prototype at the first time point, as defined in the Block model of personality. Differences between those with a resilient and non-resilient prototype were examined. A structural equation model (SEM) tested the association of a resilience prototype with positive affect, perceived control and family relationships in predicting distress over time. Results A resilient personality profile was identified (n = 256). These individuals reported higher positive affect, greater perceived control and less distress at both measurement occasions than those without this profile (n = 489). Women reported more distress than men. SEM revealed the relationship of a resilient prototype to distress was explained by its beneficial association with positive affect and perceived control at the first assessment, and through its beneficial association with perceived control 8 years later. Gender independently predicted distress. Conclusions A resilient personality prototype appears to operate through its beneficial association with perceived control to prospectively predict distress reported by emerging adults with CHC. The self-regulatory properties theoretically associated with a resilient personality prototype may function through perceptions of control which, in turn, prevent prolonged experiences of distress. Clinical implications are considered.



chronic health,

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

British Journal of Health Psychology


Wright, Erika
Elliott, Timothy R.
Kwok, Oi-Man
Zhang, Qiyue
Spooner, Mikaela

Year Published



April 26, 2023





Reference ID