Additive Effects of Forecasted and Reported Stressors on Negative Affect

Stacey B. Scott, Jinhyuk Kim, Joshua M. Smyth, David M. Almeida, Martin J. Sliwinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Many studies of daily life have framed stressors as unpredictable disruptions. We tested age differences in whether individuals forecast upcoming stressors, whether individuals show anticipatory stress responses prior to stressors, and whether having previously forecasted any stressors moderates stressor exposure on negative affect. Method Adults (n = 237; age 25-65) completed surveys five times daily for 14 days on current negative affect, stressor exposure, and stressor forecasts. Results Older age was associated with slightly greater likelihood of reported stressors but unrelated to forecasted stressors. Following forecasted stressors, individuals were four times more likely to report a stressor had occurred; age did not moderate this effect. Even prior to stressors, current negative affect was significantly higher when individuals forecasted stressors compared to when no stressors were forecast. No support was found for forecasts buffering effects of stressors on negative affect and age did not moderate this interaction. Instead, the effects were additive. Discussion In an age-heterogeneous sample, individuals showed early and persistent affective responses in advance of stressors. Anticipatory stress responses may be a mechanism for chronic stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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