Does Emotionality Predict Stress? Findings From the Normative Aging Study

  • Aldwin C
  • Levenson M
  • Spiro A
 et al. 
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Investigated whether emotionality, assessed in 1975, predicted the reporting of both objective stress (life events) and subjective stress (hassles) 10 years later, and how emotionality affected the relation between both objective and subjective stress and mental health. The sample consisted of 1,159 older men, participants in the Normative Aging Study. Path analysis revealed that the reporting of stress was confounded with personality: Individuals higher in emotionality reported both more life events and more hassles. Furthermore, individuals higher in emotionality exhibited slightly higher levels of symptoms under stress than did individuals lower in emotionality. Nonetheless, both stress measures contributed independent variance to the prediction of psychological symptoms, even controlling for prior levels of emotionality. Implications for the assessment of stress are discussed.

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