Appraisal and interpersonal stressors: Untangling the stress process
AdvisorAlmeida, David M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTo understand variations in the stress response, two separate research traditions have developed: one that focuses on appraisal and the other on stressors. Research on stressors informs our understanding of the social conditions that expose individuals to potentially stressful situations, whereas research on appraisal informs our understanding of why different people respond to stressors in different ways. The present study seeks to integrate findings from these two research traditions and extend our understanding of the stress process by investigating the possibility those variations in sources of stress trigger different appraisals. In addition, this study also attempts to untangle the separate effects of appraisal and stressor by examining each construct at a more granular level than has previously been undertaken. Finally, this study examines the relationships between stressors and appraisal to understand how they may, in combination, influence distress. The data for these analyses are merged from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) and the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). The MIDUS participants are a representative sample of 3032 adults aged 25 to 74 obtained through a random-digit dialing process. The NSDE participants are a subsample of 1031 participants from the MIDUS. The participants for the present study are the 534 men and women who participated in the NSDE who experienced at least one interpersonal tension during the 8-day telephone diary. Results from multilevel modeling analyses indicated that there was more within-person variability in appraisal of interpersonal tensions than between-person variability. Findings from this study also provide empirical support that stressors and appraisal are separate constructs with independent effects on distress. Further, there are multiple pathways through which dimensions of appraisal and attributes of the stressor in combination influence distress.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family and Consumer Sciences