Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2018 Vol. 11 Issue 57

Rasskazova E.I. Cognitive and emotional components of illness representation in mental disorders: the role of personality

Full text in Russian: Рассказова Е.И. Когнитивная и эмоциональная составляющие репрезентации болезни при психических расстройствах: роль личностных особенностей

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

About author
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In the studies of illness representation in patients with mental illness, an important task is to identify those components that are significant for the individual and that perform regulatory functions in relation to the experiences and activities associated with the illness. In this paper, based on Zeigarnik’s understanding of self-regulation, we suppose that closer relationships with personal characteristics should be found for those components of the illness representation push the processes of the personal level of self-regulation. Based on a clinical validation sample for the Russian version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) we studied 29 patients with affective disorders, 21 patients with schizophrenia and schizotypic disorder, and 21 patients with adaptation disorder who also completed the Illness Perception Questionnaire. It has been shown that in schizophrenia and schizotypal disorder, the overall severity of psychopathological personality traits is related to better recognition that the illness would be long and negatively affects the patient's life, as well as to the feeling of loss of control over illness and the uselessness of the treatment. In affective disorders, appraisal of illness as a cyclic and confidence in their control over the illness are associated with cynicism, hostility, and in some cases with signs of addictions and antisocial behavior. Patients with adaptation disorders report a lack of understanding of their illness if they report higher obsessiveness, low level of positive emotions, dysfunctional negative emotions, signs of deviant psychopathy. Uncertainty in the effectiveness of treatment and emotional reactions to the illness are associated with a broad nonspecific range of psychopathological traits.

Keywords: MMPI-2, illness representation, common-sense model, mental disorders, schizophrenia, affective disorders, adaptation disorders


The study was supported by the President of the Russian Federation for the state support of young Russian scientists, the project МК-2193.2017.6 «Psychodiagnostics of personality beliefs in norm and pathology».


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Received 21 November 2017. Date of publication: 21 February 2018.

About author

Rasskazova Elena I. Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, ul. Mokhovaya, 11–9, 125009 Moscow, Russia; Senior Research Associate, Mental Health Research Center, Kashirskoye sh., 34, 115522 Moscow, Russia.
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Suggested citation

Rasskazova E.I. Cognitive and emotional components of illness representation in mental disorders: the role of personality. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2018, Vol. 11, No. 57, p. 7. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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