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Many theories suggest that a threatening situation impacts health because it affects core needs. Our assumption was that a set of interdependent 'perceived primal threats' to basic human needs (self-preservation, social integration, personal identity and growth, and positive worldview), which result from the presence of a disease, are related to illness perceptions and subjective health. Participants were 121 chronic medical patients. According to the results, perceived primal threat was strongly associated with illness-related perceptions and problems, as well as perceived psychological and overall self-rated health. Also, perceived primal threat mediated the relationship between illness-related factors and subjective health measures. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Health Psychology

Publication Date





1021 - 1029