The joint effects of life stress and negative social exchanges on emotional distress

Kristin Bauer, Karen S. Rook, Jason T. Newsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. Negative social exchanges detract considerably from older adults' emotional health, but little is known about the specific factors that make some older adults more vulnerable than others to such exchanges. This study examined whether stressful life experiences compound the impact of negative social exchanges on emotional distress. We examined both linear and nonlinear models of the joint effects of negative social exchanges and stressful life experiences. Methods. In-person interviews took place with a representative sample of 916 noninstitutionalized older adults. We examined linear and nonlinear models for three classes of stressful life experiences (relationship losses, disruptive events, and functional impairment). Results. Regression analyses that included first-order and second-order interaction terms revealed a linear pattern for loss events and functional impairment, and a nonlinear pattern for disruptive events. Discussion. This study suggests that negative social exchanges and stressful life experiences jointly affect emotional distress, but the particular nature of the joint effects varies by type and level of stressor. Negative social exchanges appear to have more severe effects in the context of some stressors but less severe effects in the context of other stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

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Life Change Events
Psychological Stress
non-linear model
Nonlinear Dynamics
linear model
event
Linear Models
experience
Regression Analysis
Interviews
regression
human being
Health
interaction
interview
health

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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The joint effects of life stress and negative social exchanges on emotional distress. / Bauer, Kristin; Rook, Karen S.; Newsom, Jason T.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol. 62, No. 5, 01.01.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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