health stress

health stress - Psychological Review 1989, Vol.96, No. 2,...

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Psychological Review Copyright 1989 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 1989, Vol. 96, No. 2, 234-254 0033-295X/89/$00.75 Health Complaints, Stress, and Distress: Exploring the Central Role of Negative Affectivity David Watson and James W. Pennebaker Southern Methodist University Most current models in health psychology assume that stress adversely affects physical health. We re-examined this assumption by reviewing extensive data from the literature and from six samples of our own, in which we collected measures of personality, health and fitness, stress, and current emotional functioning. Results indicate that self-report health measures reflect a pervasive mood disposition of negative affectivity (NA); self-report stress scales also contain a substantial NA compo- nent. However, although NA is correlated with health complaint scales, it is not strongly or consis- tently related to actual, Jong-term health status, and thus will act as a general nuisance factor in health research. Because self-report measures of stress and health both contain a significant NA component, correlations between such measures likely overestimate the true association between stress and health. Results demonstrate the importance of including different types of health measures in health psychology research. Various types of health models have been adopted by clinical, social, and medical researchers. Most of these models assume that psychosocial stressors adversely affect physical health as well as psychological well-being. In recent years, researchers have studied a number of hypothesized precursors of health, including major life changes (e.g., divorce, death of spouse or child; see Holmes & Rahe, 1967; D. H. Schroeder & Costa, 1984), chronic stressors or role strains (e.g., Eckenrode, 1984; Pearlin, Lieberman, Menaghan, &Mullan, 198 I), minor daily stressors or hassles (e.g., DeLongis, Coyne, Dakof, Folkman, & Lazarus, 1982; Zarski, 1984), depression and helplessness (Laudenslager, Ryan, Drugan, Hyson, & Maier, 1983; Shekelle, et al., 1981), and personality factors such as hardiness (Kobasa, Maddi, & Kahn, 1982) and the Type A behavior pattern (e.g., Dembroski, Weiss, Shields, Haynes, & Feinleib, 1978; Krantz & Durel, 1983; Matthews, 1982). Results generally indicate that these factors are correlated with various health indices. Recently, Costa and McCrae (1985a, 1987) have questioned the meaningfulness of many of these findings. They have ex- plored the role of neuroticism, a personality trait that they de- fine as "a broad dimension of individual differences in the ten- dency to experience negative, distressing emotions and to pos- sess associated behavioral and cognitive traits" (Costa & McCrae, 1987, p. 301). In studying the psychological factors Portions of this project were funded by National Institutes of Health Grant HL32547 and National Science Foundation Grant BNS 86- 06764.
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2011 for the course PSYCH 212 taught by Professor Dansullivan during the Spring '11 term at NYU.

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health stress - Psychological Review 1989, Vol.96, No. 2,...

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