Life Stress and Health. Personality, Coping, and Family Support in Stress Resistance

  • Holahan C
  • Moos R
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Investigated factors that buffer the potentially negative health effects of life stress by surveying 267 families from a representative community sample. Both husbands (mean age 44 yrs) and wives (mean age 42 yrs) were tested. Ss were separated into a distressed group (high stress, high distress) and a stress resistant group (high stress, low distress) and were assessed on a battery of measures that included the Social Readjustment Rating Scale and the Family Environment Scale. Findings demonstrate that Ss who adapted to life stress with little physical or psychological strain were more easy-going and less inclined to use avoidance coping than Ss who became ill under stress. In addition, in the stress-resistant group, men were more self-confident and women had better family support than their counterparts in the distressed group. Results are discussed in relation to earlier findings concerning hardiness, avoidance coping, and the behavioral proscriptions of conventional sex roles. (43 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).

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  • Charles J. Holahan

  • Rudolf H. Moos

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