A central goal of daily stress research is to identify resilience and vulnerability factors associated with exposure and reactivity to daily stressors. The present study examined how age differences and global perceptions of stress relate to exposure and emotional reactivity to daily stressors. Sixty-seven younger (Mage = 20) and 116 older (Mage = 80) adults completed a daily stress diary and measures of positive and negative affect on 6 days over a 14-day period. Participants also completed a measure of global perceived stress. Results revealed that reported exposure to daily stressors is reduced in old age but that emotional reactivity to daily stressors did not differ between younger and older adults. Global perceived stress was associated with greater reported exposure to daily stressors in older adults and greater stress-related increases in negative affect in younger adults. Furthermore, across days on which daily stressors were reported, intraindividual variability in the number and severity of stressors reported was associated with increased negative affect, but only among younger adults.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology