Illness Causal Attributions: An Exploratory Study of Their Structure and Associations with Other Illness Cognitions and Perceptions of Control

Shoshana Shiloh*, Dana Rashuk-Rosenthal, Yael Benyamini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two studies were conducted to investigate the cognitive organization and psychological meaning of illness causes. Using a direct similarity judgment method (Study 1), illness causes were found cognitively organized in a hierarchical configuration that could meaningfully be represented as a tree with three main branches-environmental, behavioral, and hidden causes-that further divided into subcategories. This classification of illness causes was associated with other components of the illness schema, namely, the consequences and control/cure dimensions, but not with timeline perceptions (Study 2). Perceptions of control were significantly associated with the cognitive organization of illness causal attributions. Personal relevancy was found as a moderator of illness causal attributions, influencing the relationships between attributions and other illness cognitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-394
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2002

Keywords

  • Causal attributions
  • Control
  • Illness cognitions

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