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Volume 6 (2006), Pages 2147-2157
Research Article

Sense of Coherence and Physical Health. The Emotional Sense of Coherence (SOC-E) was Found to be the Best-Known Predictor of Physical Health

1Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2Research Clinic for Holistic Medicine, Beer-Sheva, Israel
3Nordic School of Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sanvika, Norway
5Interuniversity College, Graz, Austria
6National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Beer-Sheva, Israel
7Center for Disability and Human Development, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel
8Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 15 August 2005; Revised 2 June 2006; Accepted 3 June 2006

Academic Editor: Daniel T.L. Shek

Copyright © 2006 Trine Flensborg-Madsen et al.


In this study, we created a measure for emotionality named the emotional sense of coherence (SOC-E). We found that SOC-E was significantly associated with physical health (r = 0.266; p < 0.05), while it was not significantly associated with psychological health (r = 0.006; NS). Based on a correlation matrix, we constructed a new scale, the SOC-E II, which was even better associated with physical health (r = 0.362) and also associated with psychological health (r = 0.259; p < 0.01). Our results showed that SOC-E and SOC-E II were better predictors of physical health than the SOC scales developed by Aaron Antonovsky (1923–1994) (SOC-29 and SOC-13). We conclude that emotional coherence is important for physical health, but it is not important in the same way for psychological health. In a previous study, we found that a mental operationalization of Antonovsky's sense of coherence was highly associated with psychological health and not associated with physical health. Based on these two studies, we conclude that physical health is primarily associated with emotions, while psychological health is primarily associated with mentality.