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Preview: Stress and Health

Stress and Health

Wiley Online Library : Stress and Health

Published: 2017-10-01T00:00:00-05:00


Chronic parenting stress and mood reactivity: The role of sleep quality


Sleep is a basic biological process supporting emotion regulation. The emotion regulation function of sleep may be particularly important in the context of chronic stress. To better understand how chronic stress and sleep interact to predict mood, 66 parents of children with autism completed daily diaries assessing parenting stress, negative mood, and sleep quality for 6 consecutive days. Hierarchical linear modelling revealed that daily negative mood was predicted by between-person differences in parenting stress and between-person differences in sleep efficiency. Further, between-person differences in sleep efficiency and within-person differences in sleep satisfaction moderated the impact of stress on mood. These data suggest that sleep disturbances may exacerbate the association between stress and mood in the context of chronic parenting stress. Further, high parenting stress appears to heighten the impact of transient sleep disturbances on mood.

Does stress mediate the association between personal relative deprivation and gambling?


Evidence has linked subjective feelings of personal relative deprivation with general gambling involvement and problem gambling tendencies. In turn, problem gambling tendencies have been linked with a wide array of damaging physical and mental health consequences. It has been theorized that the deleterious effects of perceived inequality on mental and physical health operate at the individual level through the experience of personal relative deprivation leading to psychosocial stress. We empirically examined whether the experience of perceived stress contributes to explaining the deprivation-gambling link using cross-sectional, self-reported survey data collected from a crowdsourced population of adults (n = 565). Results indicate that personal relative deprivation is associated with problem gambling tendencies (but not general gambling involvement) and that this association is mediated by perceived stress. These associations were particularly strong among participants who reported non-zero levels of problem gambling tendencies. Together, our results further emphasize the importance of individual-level social comparison reactions in the context of health.

Educators' emotion regulation strategies and their physiological indicators of chronic stress over 1 year


Studies show teaching is a highly stressful profession and that chronic work stress is associated with adverse health outcomes. This study analysed physiological markers of stress and self-reported emotion regulation strategies in a group of middle school teachers over 1 year. Chronic physiological stress was assessed with diurnal cortisol measures at three time points over 1 year (fall, spring, fall). The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the changes in educators' physiological level of stress. Results indicate that compared to those in the fall, cortisol awakening responses were blunted in the spring. Further, this effect was ameliorated by the summer break. Additionally, self-reported use of the emotion regulation strategy reappraisal buffered the observed blunting that occurred in the spring.

Negative affective stress reactivity: The dampening effect of snacking


The present study sets out to further elucidate the complex relationship between daily hassles, snacking, and negative affect (NA). The aim of the present study was to examine whether or not moment-to-moment energy intake from snacks moderates the association between momentary stress and NA. And, if so, can this moderating effect be replicated by using the amount of macronutrient intake (i.e., carbohydrates, fat, and protein) as moderator on the association between momentary stress and NA? Adults (N = 269), aged 20–50 years, participated in this study. Stress, NA, and snack intake were assessed 10 times a day for 7 consecutive days in daily life with an experience sampling smartphone application. Multilevel regression analyses were performed to assess the hypothesized associations. Our study revealed a dampening effect of snacking on negative affective stress reactivity. However, this dampening effect could not be replicated by the amount of macronutrient intake from snacks. On the contrary, the amount of carbohydrates has an enhancing effect on negative affective stress reactivity. In the end, our study suggests that the critical question is which mechanisms are decisive in the dampening role of snacking on stress reactivity. A multidisciplinary approach may provide a full perspective.

Dangers on the road: A longitudinal examination of passenger-initiated violence against bus drivers


This study examined the impact of workplace violence against 109 bus drivers over a 1-year span. Workplace violence is related to both psychological and work-related consequences. Our findings showed that bus drivers experienced a wide range of violence at work and the psychological consequences were devastating: Half of the participants met the diagnostic criteria for acute stress disorder within the first month following the index event. Majority of them experienced at least moderate levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) problems over the 1-year span. About 9.3% of participants showed a delayed onset of PTSD 6 months after. Furthermore, counter-supportive behaviours and reexposure to violence played important roles in the maintenance of PTSD symptoms over time. Even though PTSD symptoms per se did not relate to bus driver's confidence in coping with aggressive passengers, the immediate post-traumatic reaction—symptoms of acute stress disorder—showed a significant long-term negative effect on bus drivers' confidence in dealing with aggressive passengers 12 months after. This study provided empirical evidence of the changing nature of PTSD symptoms over time among bus drivers.

Combining walking and relaxation for stress reduction—A randomized cross-over trial in healthy adults


Both physical activity and relaxation have stress-relieving potential. This study investigates their combined impact on the relaxation response while considering participants' initial stress level. In a randomized cross-over trial, 81 healthy adults completed 4 types of short-term interventions for stress reduction, each lasting for 1 hr: (1) physical activity (walking) combined with resting, (2) walking combined with balneotherapy, (3) combined resting and balneotherapy, and (4) resting only. Saliva cortisol, blood pressure, state of mood, and relaxation were measured preintervention and postintervention. Stress levels were determined by validated questionnaires. All interventions were associated with relaxation responses in the variables saliva cortisol, blood pressure, state of mood, and subjective relaxation. No significant differences were found regarding the reduction of salivary cortisol (F = 1.30; p = .281). The systolic blood pressure was reduced best when walking was combined with balneotherapy or resting (F = 7.34; p < .001). Participants with high stress levels (n = 25) felt more alert after interventions including balneotherapy, whereas they reported an increase of tiredness when walking was combined with resting (F = 3.20; p = .044). Results suggest that combining physical activity and relaxation (resting or balneotherapy) is an advantageous short-term strategy for stress reduction as systolic blood pressure is reduced best while similar levels of relaxation can be obtained.

Covering traumatic news stories: Factors associated with post-traumatic stress disorder among journalists


The current study examined personal and environmental factors that placed 167 U.S. journalists from diverse media organizations at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after covering work-related traumatic stories. These factors included exposure to traumatic stressors in their personal lives, work-related traumatic stressors, and general organizational stressors. Further, personality attributes and coping styles associated with risk and resiliency were examined. Regression analyses identified avoidant emotional coping, higher levels of perceived organizational stressors, intensity of exposure to work-related traumatic stressors, and personal trauma history as statistically significant risk factors for PTSD. The results provide empirical support for the negative impact of organizational stressors and avoidant emotional coping on journalists covering trauma-related stories. Understanding the organizational climate journalists are working in, as well as the manner in which journalists manage work-related stressors, is important in the development of a more comprehensive model of who may develop work-related PTSD symptoms. Opportunities for news organizations to reduce PTSD risk among journalists are discussed.

Effectiveness of instrumental reminiscence intervention on improving coping in healthy older adults


Reminiscence is a psychological intervention that uses the recall of past events, feelings, and thoughts to facilitate pleasure, quality of life, and adjustment to present life. The main goal of this study was to investigate the effect of a reminiscence intervention programme on coping strategies. One hundred fifty healthy older adults attended the reminiscence sessions. In order to evaluate the effects of the programme and find out if its effects lasted over time, we used an experimental design with pretest, posttest, and follow-up assessments, comparing a control group to the intervention group. Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant differences in problem-solving coping, positive reappraisal, social support seeking, and avoidance coping with the treatment group obtaining higher scores than the control group in all cases. The effects declined after 3 months, but some differences were found in the treatment group obtaining higher scores in problem-solving coping and positive reappraisal and lower in overt emotional expression. The study suggests that reminiscence therapy contributes to mental health by enhancing coping strategies that can allow the elderly to cope successfully and overcome psychological distress.

Parenting stress in caregivers of children with chronic physical condition—A meta-analysis


On the basis of the parenting stress model we compared levels of parenting stress in families with and without a child with a chronic physical condition and analysed correlates of parenting stress in families with a child with a chronic condition. A systematic search through electronic databases identified 547 relevant studies that were included in a random-effects meta-analysis. Parents of children with a chronic condition showed small to moderate elevations of general parenting stress and stress related to the parent–child relationship in particular. They showed moderate to large elevations in health-related parenting stress. Parents of children with cancer, cerebral palsy, HIV infection or AIDS, and spina bifida showed the highest levels of parenting stress. Stress levels also varied by illness severity and duration, child age, parental gender and mental health, marital status, marital quality, and levels of perceived support. Behaviour problems of the child and low parental mental health were the strongest correlates of parenting stress. The present results assist with identifying parents at highest needs for interventions aimed at reducing parenting stress. These interventions should address the reduction of child behaviour problems, the promotion of parental mental health, the increase in marital quality and social support in general, and skills for dealing with stressors.

Psychophysiological response to acute-high-stress combat situations in professional soldiers


The study of psychophysiological responses of soldiers in combat situations remains a challenge, especially in melee combat—a close proximity unarmed fight—defined by high unpredictability. Gaining knowledge about psychophysiological changes in high-stress situations is required to optimise training. This study aimed to analyse modifications in autonomic modulation, cortical arousal, heart rate, muscle strength, blood lactate concentration, and rating of perceived exertion of veteran soldiers in a melee combat simulation. Twenty veteran soldiers were analysed before and after a melee combat simulation in accordance with realistic situations that occur in actual operations areas. The simulation consisted of actions performed by a binomial unit in a security and protection mission in an operations area. The melee combat caused an increase in sympathetic modulation, blood lactate concentration, heart rate, muscle strength, a decreased tendency in cortical arousal, and a lower rating of perceived exertion than the organic response measured. An intense fight–flight response was observed in soldiers by the limbic system activation, causing a misinterpretation of perceived exertion. Finally, implications for the design of simulation environments for tactics training in high-stress professions are discussed.

Converging evidence that subliminal evaluative conditioning does not affect self-esteem or cardiovascular activity


Self-esteem moderates the relationship between stress and (cardiovascular) health, with low self-esteem potentially exacerbating the impact of stressors. Boosting self-esteem may therefore help to buffer against stress. Subliminal evaluative conditioning (SEC), which subliminally couples self-words with positive words, has previously been successfully used to boost self-esteem, but the existing studies are in need of replication. In this article, we aimed to replicate and extend previous SEC studies. The first 2 experiments simultaneously examined whether SEC increased self-esteem (Experiment 1, n = 84) and reduced cardiovascular reactivity to a stressor in high worriers (Experiment 2, n = 77). On the basis of these results, the 3rd experiment was set up to examine whether an adjusted personalized SEC task increased self-esteem and reduced cardiac activity in high worriers (n = 81). Across the 3 experiments, no effects were found of SEC on implicit or explicit self-esteem or affect or on cardiovascular (re)activity compared to a control condition in which the self was coupled with neutral words. The results do not support the use of the subliminal intervention in its current format. As stress is highly prevalent, future studies should focus on developing other cost-effective and evidence-based interventions.

Does perceived stress moderate the association between depressive symptoms and socioemotional and behavioural strengths and difficulties in adolescence?


More and more students report high level of perceived stress during childhood and adolescence, which is associated with socioemotional and behavioural strengths and difficulties. This study aims—based on the cognitive vulnerability-transactional stress theory—to examine perceived stress in early adolescence as a potential moderator in the association between depressive symptoms and socioemotional and behavioural strengths and difficulties from early to middle adolescence. Results of latent moderated structural equations with questionnaire data from a longitudinal study with 1,088 German students (Time 1: Mage = 13.70, SD = 0.53; Time 2: N = 845, Mage = 15.32, SD = 0.49) indicate that perceived stress functions as a moderator in the above-mentioned association and dominates the interaction if perceived strongly.

Stressful life events and posttraumatic growth among police officers: A cross-sectional study


Police officers often continue to face numerous threats and stressors in the aftermath of a disaster. To date, posttraumatic growth (PTG) has been studied primarily in the context of significant trauma; thus, it is not known whether stressful life events are associated with PTG. This study investigated the development of PTG among 113 police officers working in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. Hierarchical regression was used to evaluate if gratitude, social support, and satisfaction with life moderated the relationship between stressful life events (as measured by the total life stress score) and PTG, after adjustment for age, sex, race, level of involvement in Hurricane Katrina, and alcohol intake. Results indicate that stressful life events are independently associated with PTG. Gratitude, satisfaction with life, and social support were seen to moderate this relationship; as stressful life events increased so too did PTG—particularly among officers with higher levels of gratitude (B = 0.002, p ≤ .05), satisfaction with life (B = 0.002, p ≤ .05), and social support (B = 0.001, p ≤ .05). These findings suggest that promoting satisfaction with life, interpersonal support, and gratitude may be beneficial to those who are regularly at risk of trauma exposure.

Self-compassion moderates the predictive effects of implicit cognitions on subjective well-being


This study examined whether self-compassion may regulate the effects of implicit cognitions (automatic and preconscious responses) on the subjective well-being of Australian adults (N = 132). As hypothesized, self-compassion moderated the predictive effects of 2 implicit cognitions (positive attention bias and implicit self-esteem) on 2 indicators of subjective well-being (life satisfaction and depressive symptoms). Low implicit self-esteem and weak positive attention bias predicted more depressive symptoms and lower life satisfaction only for participants who were low in self-compassion. These results extend previous research knowledge by indicating that self-compassion may not only buffer the impact of explicit (deliberate and conscious) cognitive processes on well-being but may also regulate the effects of preconscious cognitive processes on mental health outcomes. Theoretical and treatment implications are discussed.

Extending knowledge of illegitimate tasks: Student satisfaction, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion


Illegitimate tasks represent assignments that individuals feels they “should not have to do” because they are not appropriate given their role. The primary aim of this study was to broaden existing knowledge on illegitimate tasks beyond workplace contexts by exploring whether this stressor was also negatively related to psychological well-being in higher education students. This study examined illegitimate tasks in relation to student satisfaction, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion in a college student setting through the demand-control-support framework. Reports from 473 college students indicated that illegitimate tasks may be important in student populations, as they were linked to student satisfaction and both psychological strain markers. In addition, perceptions of control over how to complete illegitimate tasks did not moderate relationships between illegitimate tasks and these outcomes, but perceptions of instructor support did. Specifically, instructor support buffered the negative effects of illegitimate tasks on anxiety and emotional exhaustion, such that the relationship between perceived task illegitimacy and both outcomes was less pronounced for students perceiving higher levels of support. However, an unexpected pattern emerged for the moderating effect of instructor support such that satisfaction deteriorated with high support, which underscores the need to further explore the function of social support in relation to illegitimate tasks.

Making it fit: Associations of line managers' behaviours with the outcomes of an organizational-level intervention


Line managers' behaviours are important during implementation of occupational health interventions. Still, little is known about how these behaviours are related to intervention outcomes. This study explored the relationship between line managers' intervention-specific transformational leadership (IsTL), intervention fit (the match between the intervention, persons involved, and the surrounding environment), and change in intrinsic motivation and vigour. Both direct and indirect relationships between IsTL and change in intrinsic motivation and vigour were tested. Ninety employees participating in an organizational-level occupational health intervention provided questionnaire ratings at baseline and after 6 months. The results showed IsTL to be related to intervention fit and intervention fit to be related to intrinsic motivation. Using intervention fit as a mediator, the total effects (direct and indirect combined) of IsTL on change in intrinsic motivation and vigour were significant. In addition, IsTL had a specific indirect effect on intrinsic motivation. This study is the first to use IsTL as a measure line managers' behaviours. It is also the first to empirically evaluate the association between intervention fit and intervention outcomes. By including these measures in evaluations of organizational-level occupational health interventions, we can provide more informative answers as to what can make interventions successful.

Value congruence and depressive symptoms among critical care clinicians: The mediating role of moral distress


Clinicians working in intensive care units are often exposed to several job stressors that can negatively affect their mental health. Literature has acknowledged the role of value congruence and job control in determining clinicians' psychological well-being and depressive symptoms. However, potential mediators of this association have been scarcely examined. This study aimed to test the mediating role of moral distress in the relationship between value congruence and job control, on the one hand, and depression, on the other hand. A cross-sectional study involving physicians, nurses, and residents working in 7 intensive care units in the north of Italy was conducted. Clinicians were administered in the Italian Moral Distress Scale—Revised, the value and control subscales of the Areas of Worklife Scale, and the Beck Depression Inventory II. Structural equation modeling was used to test the mediation model. Analysis on 170 questionnaires (response rate 72%) found no relations between job control and moral distress. A total indirect effect of value congruence on depression through moral distress (β = −.12; p = .02) was found. Moral distress contributes to the development of depressive symptoms among critical care clinicians who perceive a value incongruence with their organization and therefore should be addressed.

Development and validation of the Workplace Interruptions Measure


In 3 studies, we developed and tested the first comprehensive, self-report measure of workplace interruptions. The Workplace Interruptions Measure (WIM) is based on a typology of interruptions that included intrusions, distractions, discrepancy detections, and breaks. The four-factor structure was reduced to a 12-item measure in Study 1 (N = 317) and confirmed in a diverse sample of employees in Study 2 (N = 160). Study 3 (N = 323) further examined the psychometric properties of the WIM in a sample of university faculty and staff. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated that both effort-enhancing interruptions (intrusions, distractions, and discrepancy detections) and recovery-enhancing interruptions (breaks) were associated with stressors and strains. Distractions, discrepancy detections, and breaks uniquely predicted strain outcomes beyond other workplace stressors (i.e., quantitative workload, interpersonal conflict, and role conflict). We discuss implications of the WIM for the theory and practice of interruptions research.

Relationships between social support and student burnout: A meta-analytic approach


This study is a meta-analysis of 19 relevant studies, with 95,434 participants, investigating the relationships between various types of social support and 3 dimensions of student burnout. The overall results indicate that social support is negatively correlated with student burnout. Specifically, school or teacher supports have the strongest negative relationship to student burnout. Social supports from parents and from peers also have a significant negative relationship with student burnout. Among the 3 dimensions of student burnout, inefficacy was more strongly related to social support than emotional exhaustion or cynicism. The results of a moderation analysis suggest that the type of schools (secondary school and postsecondary school) affected the relationships between the overall social support and student burnout. We discuss the implications to ameliorate student burnout.

Resilience dimensions and mental health outcomes in bipolar disorder in a follow-up study


The individual process of resilience has been related to positive outcomes in mental disorders. We aimed (a) to identify the resilience domains from the Resilience Questionnaire for Bipolar Disorder that are associated cross sectionally and longitudinally with mental health outcomes in bipolar disorder (BD) and (b) to explore cross-lagged associations among resilience factors. A clinical adult sample of 125 patients diagnosed with BD (62.10% female, mean age = 46.13, SD = 10.89) gave their informed consent and completed a battery of disease-specific tools on resilience, personal recovery, symptomatology, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life, at baseline and at follow-up (n = 63, 58.10% female, mean age = 45.13, SD = 11.06, participation rate = 50.40%). Resilience domains of self-management of BD, turning point, self-care, and self-confidence were significantly associated with mental health indicators at baseline. In addition, self-confidence at baseline directly predicted an increase in personal recovery at follow-up, and self-confidence improvement mediated the relationship between interpersonal support and self-care at baseline and personal recovery at follow-up. These findings highlight that resilience domains are significantly associated with positive mental health outcomes in BD and that some predict personal recovery at follow-up. Moreover, some resilience factors improve other resilience factors over time.

Who is afraid of ISIS? ISIS anxiety and its correlates


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is a relatively small organization, yet it wields its terror and media campaigns efficiently. Its presence has altered security measures in many western counties. In the current study, I assess anxiety of the ISIS threat and its correlates in a convenience sample of 1,007 adult Israelis (mean age = 29.61, SD = 7.16). Findings show that being female, a lower socioeconomic status, and having elevated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom levels were all associated with ISIS anxiety. Likewise, exposure to ISIS media, as well as having low resilience, was also correlated with ISIS anxiety. The correlations between ISIS anxiety on the one hand and ISIS media exposure, PTSD symptoms, and resilience on the other hand remained significant even after controlling for general anxiety symptoms. Finally, the PTSD- ISIS anxiety relationship was especially pronounced when resources (resilience/optimism) were low. This critical interaction also remained significant after controlling for general anxiety. Theoretical and practical ramifications of ISIS anxiety are discussed. Both resources for addressing current tasks (resilience), as well as those aimed at future outcomes (optimism), may be required for addressing ISIS anxiety, especially when PTSD symptoms are high.

Associations between psychological stress and smoking, drinking, obesity, and high blood pressure in an upper middle-income country in the African region


The direction and magnitude of the associations between cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) and psychological stress continue to be debated, and no data are available from surveys in the African region. In this study, we examine the associations between CVRFs and psychological stress in the Seychelles, a rapidly developing small island state in the African region. A survey was conducted in 1,240 adults aged 25–64 years representative of the Seychelles. Participants were asked to rank psychological stress that they had experienced during the past 12 months in four domains: work, social life, financial situation, and environment around home. CVRFs (high blood pressure, tobacco use, alcohol drinking, and obesity) were assessed using standard procedures. Psychological stress was associated with age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Overall, there were only few consistent associations between psychological stress and CVRFs, adjusting for age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Social stress was associated with smoking, drinking, and obesity, and there were marginal associations between stress at work and drinking, and between financial stress, and smoking and drinking. Psychological stress was not associated with high blood pressure. These findings suggest that psychological stress should be considered in cardiovascular disease prevention and control strategies.

Extending the two-process model of burnout in child protection workers: The role of resilience in mediating burnout via organizational factors of control, values, fairness, reward, workload, and community relationships


Burnout has been disproportionally reported in child protection social work. This paper presents data from 162 child protection staff in Northern Ireland, assessed for burnout using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Path models were estimated, based on an extension of the two-process demands and values model (Leiter, ) to include additional measures of resilience using the Resilience Scale-14, as well as perceived rewards and sense of community from the Areas of Work Life Scale (Leiter, ). Optimal model fit was achieved by modelling resilience as a mediator of the relationship between organizational factors of control and value congruence and burnout. Resilience also directly predicted emotional exhaustion (β = −.23, p < .005) and personal accomplishment (β = .46, p < .001). Workload was the strongest direct predictor of emotional exhaustion (β = −.54, p < .001). Adding perceived rewards to extend the two-process model resulted in moderate associations with control (β = .44, p < .001), workload (β = .26, p < .005), fairness (β = .40, p < .001), and values (β = .32, p < .001). In the final model, resilience is modelled as both an outcome of some organizational factors whilst also making a unique direct contribution to explaining burnout alongside other organizational factors. Other pathways and mediating relationships are reported and further research directions discussed.

The reliability and validity of three-item screening measures for burnout: Evidence from group-employed health care practitioners in upstate New York


We investigate the psychometric validity and reliability of three-item screening measures for emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal achievement comprising an abbreviated version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory®. Despite its utilization in multiple studies, the shortened instrument has not been sufficiently validated in diverse settings, populations, and organizational contexts. We examine its ability to assess burnout accruing from patient care practice in a rural, underserved area. Utilizing data from a cross-sectional survey of 308 rural-based medical professionals, we investigate how the three short-form subscales of the nine-item abbreviated inventory compare with their gold-standard parent subscales from the original 22-item human services scale in measuring corresponding dimensions of burnout. The findings provide significant evidence that the three-item measures are valid and reliable proxies for the long-form subscales. The short-form measures are highly correlated with the original subscales and display high convergent and discriminant validity. Each of the abbreviated subscales manifests the kind of high sensitivity with adequate specificity that one would expect to see in a good screening instrument. We conclude that the short-form measures can be utilized to rapidly screen human service professionals such as rural health care practitioners for symptoms of each of the three dimensions of burnout.

The interactive role of eating regulation and stress in the prediction of weight-related outcomes among college students


The interactive role of eating regulation and perceived stress on weight-related outcomes was examined among 319 sophomore year college students (110 males and 209 females). Moderated regressions were used to examine interactions between stress and eating regulation on study outcomes including body mass index (BMI) and body fat. Eating regulation moderated associations between stress and BMI and body fat outcomes. Students reporting high perceived stress, high autonomous eating regulation, low controlled regulation, and low amotivation exhibited higher outcomes (BMI and body fat) than those with similar eating regulation but lower perceived stress. Students with lower autonomous eating regulation and higher controlled regulation had no differences in study outcomes across levels of stress. College students who regulate their eating behaviours for health reasons (specifically showing autonomous regulation) exhibit higher BMI and body fat when they report higher levels of perceived stress. Health promotion programs for college students need to target education efforts towards stress reduction and healthy eating behaviours.

Exploring daily affective changes in university students with a mindful positive reappraisal intervention: A daily diary randomized controlled trial


Brief and cost-effective interventions focused on emotion regulation techniques can buffer against stress and foster positive functioning. Mindfulness and positive reappraisal are two techniques that can mutually enhance one another to promote well-being. However, research testing the effectiveness of interventions combining mindfulness and reappraisal is lacking. The current pilot examined the effect of a combined mindful-reappraisal intervention on daily affect in a 5-day diary study with 106 university students. Participants were randomized to a mindful-reappraisal intervention (n = 36), a reappraisal-only intervention (n = 34), or an active control activity (n = 36). All participants described a negative event each day but only reappraised the event in the intervention conditions. Using multilevel growth modelling, results indicated that negative affect in both interventions declined over 5 days compared to the control; however, there were no differences in the growth of positive affect. Compared to reappraisal-only, the mindful-reappraisal group reported overall lower daily negative affect and marginally higher daily positive affect over the 5-day intervention. These findings suggest that brief daily practice combining mindfulness and positive reappraisal can be trained as a self-regulatory resource to promote positive affect and buffer negative affect above and beyond reappraisal practice alone.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Stress and Mental Health in College Students


The goal of this short-term longitudinal study was to examine whether adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) could be used to identify college students at risk for mental health problems and whether current level of stress mediates the relationship between ACEs and mental health. Data on ACEs and mental health (depression, anxiety and suicidality) were collected at the beginning of the semester, and data on current stressors and mental health were collected toward the end of the semester (n = 239). Findings indicated that ACEs predicted worsening of mental health over the course of a semester and suggested current number of stressors as a mediator of the relationship between ACEs and mental health. Results suggest that screening for ACEs might be useful to identify students at high risk for deterioration in mental health. Results further suggest that stress-related interventions would be beneficial for students with high levels of ACEs and point to the need for more research and strategies to increase help-seeking in college students.

Trajectories of well-being during an exercise randomized controlled trial: The role of exposure and exercise experiences


We examined how process factors were related to the development of various indicators of well-being during the course of an exercise randomized controlled trial aimed at reducing fatigue among university students. We investigated (a) whether actual exposure to the exercise sessions was related to differences in students' trajectories of well-being, (b) the minimally required exposure to exercise needed before well-being started to differ between the intervention and control condition, and (c) whether exercise experiences (enjoyment and detachment) were related to differences in well-being trajectories. University students with high levels of fatigue were randomly allocated to a 6-week exercise intervention (n = 50) or wait list (n = 49). All participants were measured before, 5 times during, and at the end of the intervention period. Multilevel analyses showed that exercisers with high exposure showed an increase in self-efficacy whereas those with low exposure did not. Effects of exercise on well-being became visible after 2 to 4 weeks during the intervention period and (partly) depended on the extent of psychological detachment. We recommend that both outcomes and process factors throughout the intervention period should be measured in order to better understand “when” and “under what conditions” an exercise intervention works.

Searching for a job: Cardiac responses to acute stress and the mediating role of threat appraisal in young people


Being unemployed and looking for a job has become a source of stress for many people in several European countries. However, little attention has been paid to the impact of this stressful situation on the individuals' psychophysiological stress responses. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of being an unemployed job seeker on cognitive threat appraisal and cardiac responses to a psychosocial stressor. We exposed a group of unemployed job seekers (N = 42) and a matched group of unemployed non-job seekers (N = 40) to a standardized social stressor in form of job interview, the Trier Social Stress Test. Our results showed that unemployed job seekers manifest lower cardiac responses, along with a lower cognitive threat appraisal, compared to non-job seekers. Moreover, we observed a full mediating role of cognitive threat appraisal on the relationship between being an unemployed job seeker and cardiac responses to stress. These findings reveal that being unemployed and looking for a job has an effect on physiological responses to acute stress, as well as the importance of psychological process related to the situation. These responses might lead to negative health and motivational consequences. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Gender composition of the occupation, sexual orientation, and mental health in young adulthood


The gender composition of the occupation has important implications for work conditions, rewards, and experiences, but little is known about whether it impacts workers' mental health. The present study seeks to answer this question by focusing on depressive symptoms and drug dependence symptoms as mental health outcomes and young adulthood as the life course context. The study further examines whether the association varies by sexual orientation, considering that occupational gender composition affects levels of stress exposure and social support availability in different ways for heterosexuals and sexual minorities. The analysis of the U.S. data, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), shows that among heterosexuals, working in a more female-typical occupation is associated with lower levels of drug dependence symptoms for women and higher levels of depressive symptoms for men. Sexual minorities show a diverging pattern—working in a more female-typical occupation is associated with worse mental health for sexual minority women and better mental health for sexual minority men.

Misfit of organizational and personal work standards and its longitudinal effect on physicians' depressiveness


The misfit of organizational and personal work standards and its relationship to health is an issue that has rarely been investigated in hospital physicians. In particular, compensatory factors for the negative effects of a misfit of organizational and personal work standards remain unknown. Our longitudinal study investigated whether autonomous experiences at work and during leisure time compensate for the effects of a misfit of organizational and personal work standards on depressive complaints. Data were collected through surveys of German hospital physicians. Two surveys were conducted with a time lag of 12 months. One hundred sixty-one physicians participated in both surveys. To test our hypothesis, we used path analysis and controlled for autoregressive effects. The results confirmed that a misfit of organizational and personal work standards affects depressive complaints over a 12-month period. Additionally, leisure autonomy compensates for the negative effects of misfit. Contrary to that, high levels of job autonomy were found to intensify the effects of a misfit of organizational and personal work standards. Our findings support previous research assumptions that job autonomy has the potential to add to stress. Hospitals must ensure that physicians can adequately use their job autonomy.

The role of dehydroepiandrosterone on functional innate immune responses to acute stress


The androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) responds to stress activation, exhibits anti-glucocorticoid properties, and modulates immunity in diverse ways, yet little is known of its role in acute stress responses. In this study, the effects of DHEA and its sulfate ester DHEA-S on human male immune function during exposure to an acute stressor is explored. Variation in DHEA, DHEA-S, testosterone, and cortisol, along with bacterial killing assays, was measured in response to a modified Trier Social Stress test in 27 young adult males. Cortisol was positively related to salivary innate immunity but only for participants who also exhibited high DHEA responses. Additionally, DHEA positively and DHEA-S negatively predicted salivary immunity, but the opposite was observed for serum-based innate immunity. The DHEA response to acute stress appears to be an important factor in stress-mediated immunological responses, with differential effects on immunity dependent upon the presence of other hormones, primarily cortisol and DHEA-S. These results suggest that DHEA plays an important role, alongside other hormones, in modulating immunological shifts during acute stress.

PTSD and PTG among Israeli mothers: Opposite facets of exposure to terrorism


The aim of the this study was to test the association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), posttraumatic growth (PTG), and coping strategies among Israeli mothers with prolonged exposure to rocket missiles. One hundred fifty-two mothers, from the Western Negev region of Israel, took part in the study. Respondents were affected by prolonged exposure to missile attacks even when they themselves had not been hit or injured. A positive correlation was found between PTSD and PTG. Problem-focused coping was found to mediate the relationship between PTSD and PTG; the higher the PTSD, the greater the use of problem-focused coping and the greater the posttraumatic growth. The results help understand the association between PTSD and PTG. The finding whereby problem-focused coping mediates the PTSD–PTG relationship is important for comprehending the association between the variables and the significance of growth in human life and for constructing intervention programs that promote growth following trauma. In addition, the study contributes to raising awareness both of how mothers cope and that they are a separate risk group with distinct growth possibilities.

How are changes in exposure to job demands and job resources related to burnout and engagement? A longitudinal study among Chinese nurses and police officers


This study used a person-centered approach to examine the across-time relationships between job demands and job resources on the one hand and employee well-being (burnout and work engagement) on the other. On the basis of the job demands–resources model and conservation of resources (COR) theory, increases in demands and decreases in resources across time were expected to result in unfavorable changes in well-being across time. The results of a 2-wave study among 172 nurses and 273 police officers showed several common patterns across both samples: (a) participants who experienced an increase of demands showed a significant increase in burnout, whereas participants who reported having low resources at both measurement times also showed a significant increase in burnout; (b) participants who experienced decreasing resources reported a significant increase in burnout and a significant decrease in engagement; (c) participants who were exposed to chronic low job resources in a highly demanding environment showed a significant increase in burnout; and (d) participants who were exposed to decreased job resources in a highly demanding environment showed a significant increase in burnout.

Basic psychological need experiences, fatigue, and sleep in individuals with unexplained chronic fatigue


Grounded in self-determination theory, this study tested the hypothesis that the satisfaction and frustration of the psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness would relate to fatigue and subjective and objective sleep parameters, with stress and negative sleep cognitions playing an explanatory role in these associations. During a stay at a sleep laboratory in Belgium, individuals with unexplained chronic fatigue (N = 160; 78% female) underwent polysomnography and completed a questionnaire at 3 different points in time (i.e., after arrival in the sleep lab, before bedtime, and the following morning) that assessed their need-based experiences and stress during the previous week, fatigue during the preceding day, and sleep-related cognitions and sleep during the previous night. Results indicated that need frustration related to higher stress, which in turn, related to higher evening fatigue. Need frustration also related to poorer subjective sleep quality and shorter sleep duration, as indicated by both subjective and objective shorter total sleep time and subjective (but not objective) longer sleep latency. These associations were accounted for by stress and negative sleep cognitions. These findings suggest that health care professionals working with individuals with unexplained chronic fatigue may consider focusing on basic psychological needs within their therapeutic approach.

Stress and adult smartphone addiction: Mediation by self-control, neuroticism, and extraversion


This study employed descriptive statistics and correlation analysis to examine the influence of stress on smartphone addiction as well as the mediating effects of self-control, neuroticism, and extraversion using 400 men and women in their 20s to 40s followed by structural equation analysis. Our findings indicate that stress had a significant influence on smartphone addiction, and self-control mediates the influence of stress on smartphone addiction. As stress increases, self-control decreases, which subsequently leads to increased smartphone addiction. Self-control was confirmed as an important factor in the prevention of smartphone addiction. Finally, among personality factors, neuroticism, and extraversion mediate the influence of stress on smartphone addiction.

The relationship between an orientation to the future and an orientation to the past: The role of future clarity


Some research shows that people who often contemplate their future tend to be healthier. Yet the burgeoning literature on mindfulness demonstrates that people who are more attuned to their immediate experiences also enjoy many benefits. To reconcile these principles, many scholars recommend that people should distribute their attention, somewhat evenly, across the past, present, and future—but have not clarified how people should achieve this goal. We test the possibility that people who perceive their future as vivid and certain, called future clarity, might be able to both orient their attention to the future as well as experience mindfulness. Specifically, future clarity could diminish the inclination of people to reach decisions prematurely and dismiss information that contradicts these decisions, called need for closure—tendencies that diminish consideration of future consequences and mindfulness, respectively. In this cross-sectional study, 194 participants completed measures of mindfulness, consideration of future consequences, need for closure, and future clarity. Consistent with hypotheses, future clarity was positively associated with both mindfulness and consideration of future consequences. Need for closure partly mediated these relationships. Accordingly, interventions that empower people to shape and to clarify their future might generate the benefits of both mindfulness and a future orientation.

U.S. reserve soldiers' combat exposure and intimate partner violence: Not more common but it is more violent


Combat exposure's influence on intimate partner violence (IPV) in reserve soldiers is not well understood. This work examines combat exposure's influence on IPV in U.S. Army Reserve/National Guard soldiers and partners. Data are from Operation: SAFETY, a longitudinal study of U.S. Army Reserve/National Guard soldiers and partners. Logistic regression models examined odds of sexual aggression, physical aggression, and physical injury with combat exposure, controlling for posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, marital satisfaction, and age. Combat exposure was associated with greater physical injury, despite no association between combat exposure and physical aggression. This was significant for male soldier to female partner, as well as female partner to male soldier injury. In addition, female partners were more likely to be sexually aggressive against their male soldiers. Female soldiers' combat exposure was not associated with IPV or injury. Although men's combat exposure did not increase the likelihood of physical aggression, it increased the likelihood of IPV resulting in injury for both husband to wife and wife to husband aggression. Results indicate postdeployment programming should focus on conflict resolution and communication for both partners.

A self-determination approach to the understanding of the impact of physical activity on depressive symptoms


The purpose was to test a new motivational sequence. It was hypothesized that more autonomous forms of motivation would predict the intensity of physical activity (PA), which in turn, would predict depressive symptoms. In order to evaluate self-determined motivation, the Self-Determination Index (SDI) was used. Because the reasons that can lead a person to engage in walking, moderate PA, or vigorous PA may be different, 3 independent self-determination indexes were measured (SDIWalking, SDIModerate, and SDIVigorous). It was also measured the metabolic equivalent of task values (METs) for walking, moderate, and vigorous PA, as well as the depressive symptoms. The sample consisted of 357 college students whose ages ranged from 18 to 29 years. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. The indices of fit showed that the revised model fits the data reasonably well: S-Bχ2(11) = 14.83, p = .190; χ2/df = 1.35; *comparative fit index = .99; *root mean square error of approximation = .03, 90% CI [.000, .068]; standardised root mean square residual = .03. It was found that vigorous PA is the only intensity that predicts depressive symptoms. In other words, SDIV-predicted vigorous PA (measured as METSV), which subsequently predicted less depressive symptoms (SDIV  METSV  Depressive symptoms). Further research should investigate the effects of vigorous PA on depressive symptoms.

Do cognitive distortions explain the longitudinal relationship between life adversity and emotional and behavioural problems in secondary school children?


Research has shown that children exposed to life adversity are at higher risk of negative developmental outcomes than those enduring lower stress levels. Life adversity can lead, among other things, to emotional and behavioural problems. Several factors have been studied to explain this relationship, with several investigators underlining the role of thought structures such as cognitive distortions, which refer to negatively biased information-processing of external events. This can help explain why some individuals characterised by adverse personal life stories interpret ambiguous events in a negatively biased way. This study was aimed at assessing the mediating role of cognitive distortions in the longitudinal relationship between life adversity and two dimensions of psychopathology, namely, emotional and behavioural problems in 247 secondary school children attending three state secondary schools in one county in the South East of England. An increase in life adversity was associated with an increase in cognitive distortions, which was in turn related to a higher number of symptoms reflecting behavioural issues. In terms of practical applications, an effort to protect children from further exposure to adverse life events could represent a step forward to prevent the development of future behavioural problems in at-risk children.

Modifying the Sleep Treatment Education Program for Students to include technology use (STEPS-TECH): Intervention effects on objective and subjective sleep outcomes


University students often have sleep issues that arise from poor sleep hygiene practices and technology use patterns. Yet, technology-related behaviors are often neglected in sleep hygiene education. This study examined whether the Sleep Treatment Education Program for Students—modified to include information regarding managing technology use (STEPS-TECH)—helps improve both subjective and objective sleep outcomes among university students. Results of an experimental study among 78 university students showed improvements in objective indicators of sleep quantity (total sleep time) and sleep quality (less awakenings) during the subsequent week for students in the STEPS-TECH intervention group compared to a control group. Exploratory analyses indicated that effects were driven by improvements in weekend days immediately following the intervention. There were also no intervention effects on subjective sleep quality or quantity outcomes. In terms of self-reported behavioral responses to educational content in the intervention, there were no group differences in sleep hygiene practices or technology use before bedtime. However, the intervention group reported less technology use during sleep periods than the control group. These preliminary findings suggest that STEPS-TECH may be a useful educational tool to help improve objective sleep and reduce technology use during sleep periods among university students.

Ethical considerations for sleep intervention in organizational psychology research


Over the past several years, interest into the role of sleep in the workplace has grown. The theoretical shift from research questions examining sleep as an outcome to placing sleep as the independent variable has increased experimental approaches to manipulating sleep in organizational studies. This is an exciting trend that is likely to continue in the organizational sciences. However, sleep experimentation can also pose special challenges for organizational researchers unaccustomed to sleep science. In this commentary, I discuss five ethical considerations of conducting negative sleep interventions in organizational psychology research. I also provide recommendations for organizational researchers—or even other researchers in disciplines outside of sleep science—who wish to implement sleep interventions in their studies.

Psychosocial safety climate, emotional exhaustion, and work injuries in healthcare workplaces


Preventing work injuries requires a clear understanding of how they occur, how they are recorded, and the accuracy of injury surveillance. Our innovation was to examine how psychosocial safety climate (PSC) influences the development of reported and unreported physical and psychological workplace injuries beyond (physical) safety climate, via the erosion of psychological health (emotional exhaustion). Self-report data (T2, 2013) from 214 hospital employees (18 teams) were linked at the team level to the hospital workplace injury register (T1, 2012; T2, 2013; and T3, 2014). Concordance between survey-reported and registered injury rates was low (36%), indicating that many injuries go unreported. Safety climate was the strongest predictor of T2 registered injury rates (controlling for T1); PSC and emotional exhaustion also played a role. Emotional exhaustion was the strongest predictor of survey-reported total injuries and underreporting. Multilevel analysis showed that low PSC, emanating from senior managers and transmitted through teams, was the origin of psychological health erosion (i.e., low emotional exhaustion), which culminated in greater self-reported work injuries and injury underreporting (both physical and psychological). These results underscore the need to consider, in theory and practice, a dual physical–psychosocial safety explanation of injury events and a psychosocial explanation of injury underreporting.

Secondary traumatic stress and secondary posttraumatic growth in a sample of Dutch police family liaison officers


This study investigated secondary traumatic stress (STS) and secondary posttraumatic growth (SPG) in a sample of Dutch police family liaison officers (N = 224). Our study had two aims: (a) to identify potential risk and protective factors for STS and (b) to investigate the association between STS and SPG. None of the risk (caseload and a personal trauma history) and protective factors (age, work experience, and support by supervisors and coworkers) identified in previous research correlated with STS. However, a small positive association was found between STS and SPG. In the discussion section we warn against the use of interventions that aim to prevent STS until more is known about risk and protective factors for STS and provide directions for future research.

College instruction is not so stress free after all: A qualitative and quantitative study of academic entitlement, uncivil behaviors, and instructor strain and burnout


The vast majority of today's college students are millennials, who have traits of confidence, tolerance, but also of entitlement and narcissism (Twenge, 2006). Therefore, college instructors face a unique challenge: dealing with the requests from academically entitled students, who have unreasonable expectations of receiving academic success, regardless of performance (Chowning & Campbell, 2009). We conducted two studies to examine whether student academic entitlement would increase instructors' strain and burnout via uncivil behaviors. A qualitative inquiry asked 136 instructors with college-teaching experience to describe types of behaviors entitled students display, their responses to entitled students, and the influence of these interactions on instructors' well-being. Next, a quantitative study with data from 857 college students nested in 34 instructors tested a multilevel mediation model where students' academic entitlement was related to instructor-reported uncivil behaviors, which in turn related to instructors' strain and burnout. Both studies largely support our hypothesis that uncivil behaviors fully mediate the relationship between students' academic entitlement and instructors' strain and burnout. We recommend employing behavioral modification strategies to decrease uncivil behaviors (e.g., class rules regarding uncivil behaviors might be specified in the course syllabus and consistently enforced) because academic entitlement attitudes are largely stable beliefs and thus may be less amenable to modification.

Burnout and depressive symptoms in teachers: Factor structure and construct validity of the Maslach Burnout inventory-educators survey among elementary and secondary school teachers in Hungary


This study validated the Hungarian version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory–Educators Survey on a sample of n = 211 elementary and secondary teachers. To test factorial validity, we ran a series of confirmatory analysis with eight models. The best fitting model was the bifactor model with general burnout and three specific factors: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Analyzing the covariates revealed that gender and age were not associated with burnout, but depressive symptoms and overcommitment had a significant relationship with general burnout, and overcommitment was related to emotional exhaustion as well.

Strength through adversity: Moderate lifetime stress exposure is associated with psychological resilience in breast cancer survivors


Stress research typically emphasizes the toxic effects of stress, but recent evidence has suggested that stress exposure, in moderation, can facilitate resilience. To test whether moderate stress exposure promotes psychological resilience to cancer, we examined the relationship between lifetime stress exposure prior to cancer diagnosis and postdiagnosis psychological functioning among 122 breast cancer survivors. Lifetime acute and chronic stress was assessed using an interview-based measure, and psychological functioning was assessed using measures of cancer-related intrusive thoughts and positive and negative affect. Results indicated that acute stress exposure was associated with cancer-related intrusive thoughts in a quadratic fashion (p = .016), such that participants with moderate acute stress reported fewer intrusive thoughts compared to those with low or high acute stress. Similarly, a quadratic relationship emerged between acute stress exposure and positive affect (p = .009), such that individuals with moderate acute stress reported the highest levels of positive affect. In contrast, acute and chronic stress were related to negative affect in a positive, linear fashion (ps < .05). In conclusion, moderate stress exposure was associated with indicators of psychological resilience among breast cancer survivors, supporting stress exposure as a key factor influencing adjustment to breast cancer and providing evidence for stress-induced resilience in a novel population.

Stress system dysregulation in pediatric generalized anxiety disorder associated with comorbid depression


Because chronic stress is an important risk factor for anxiety states and depressive disorders, we studied hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic system activity via changes in cortisol and alpha amylase activity levels in pediatric generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients (n = 26) with comorbid depression and a healthy comparison group (n = 26). Morning plasma cortisol and diurnal profiles of salivary cortisol and salivary alpha amylase (sAA) activity were assessed, also reactivity of HPA-axis, sAA activity, and heart rate following a psychosocial stressor (Trier Social Stress Test for children). GAD patients with comorbid depression showed increased morning plasma and salivary cortisol levels, ameliorating throughout in-patient treatment, and higher sAA activity in their diurnal profile. Both HPA and sympathetic activity positively correlated with the severity of anxiety and depression. We also demonstrated a blunted HPA and sympathetic response to acute stress in patients. This pattern of neuroendocrine and sympathetic changes seems to be distinct from the one previously reported in pediatric patients with only social anxiety or depressive disorders. We propose morning plasma and saliva cortisol levels as potential physiological indicators for supporting the evaluation of symptoms' severity and treatment progress in children with GAD and comorbid depressive disorder.

Cognitive processing in the aftermath of relationship dissolution: Associations with concurrent and prospective distress and posttraumatic growth


Non-marital romantic relationship dissolution is amongst the most stressful life events experienced by young adults. Yet, some individuals experience posttraumatic growth following relationship dissolution. Little is known about the specific and differential contribution of trait-like and event-specific cognitive processing styles to each of these outcomes. A longitudinal design was employed in which trait-like (brooding and reflection) and dissolution-specific (intrusive and deliberate) cognitive processing was examined as predictors of growth (Posttraumatic Growth Inventory) and distress (Breakup Distress Scale) following a recent relationship dissolution. Initially, 148 participants completed measures of trait-like and dissolution-specific cognitive processing, growth, and distress (T1). A subsample completed a seven-month follow-up (T2). Higher frequency of relationship-dissolution intrusive thoughts predicted concurrent distress after accounting for brooding and relationship characteristics. Further, higher brooding and lower reflection predicted higher distress prospectively. Concurrent growth was predicted by both higher brooding and more deliberate relationship-dissolution thoughts. Prospectively, T1 dissolution intrusive thoughts predicted higher T2 deliberate thoughts, and the interaction between these two constructs predicted higher T2 growth. Therefore, deliberately thinking of the dissolution was related to positive psychological outcomes. In contrast, intrusive dissolution cognitions and a tendency for brooding had a mixed (paradoxical) association with psychological adjustment.

Physical fitness level affects perception of chronic stress in military trainees


This study investigated whether physical fitness affects the perception of chronic stress in military trainees while controlling for established factors influencing stress perception. The sample consisted of 273 men (20.23 ± 1.12 years, 73.56 ± 10.52 kg, 1.78 ± 0.06 m). Physical fitness was measured by progressive endurance run (maximum oxygen uptake; VO2max), standing long jump, seated shot put, trunk muscle strength, and one leg standing test. Perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Questionnaire in Weeks 1 and 11 of basic military training (BMT). VO2max and four influencing variables (perceived stress in Week 1, neuroticism, transformational leadership style, and education level) explained 44.44% of the variance of the increase in perceived stress during 10 weeks of BMT (R2 = 0.444, F = 23.334, p < .001). The explained variance of VO2 max was 4.14% (R2 = 0.041), with a Cohen's f2 effect size of 0.045 (assigned as a small effect by Cohen, ). The results indicate a moderating influence of good aerobic fitness on the varied level of perceived stress. We conclude that it is advisable to provide conscripts with a specific endurance training program prior to BMT for stress prevention reasons.

Is work keeping us from acting healthy? How workplace barriers and facilitators impact nutrition and exercise behaviors


The purpose of this study was to identify common barriers and facilitators to healthy nutrition and exercise behaviors in the workplace and examine their relationships to those actual daily health behaviors. We utilized a concurrent embedded mixed methods approach to collect data from 93 participants over the span of four days. Participants reported 2.80 nutrition and 3.28 exercise barriers on average over the 4 days, while reporting 2.93 nutrition and 1.98 exercise facilitators in the same timeframe. Results indicated that workload and temptations around the office prevented nutritious eating; exercise behaviors were frequently hindered by workload. The most commonly mentioned eating facilitator was proper planning, while having time to exercise facilitated physical activity. Furthermore, the number of barriers reported negatively related to their respective health behaviors (i.e., more nutrition barriers translated to poorer nutrition habits) and facilitators were positively related to them, both overall and more so on the specific day they were reported. The implications of these finding show the importance of barriers/facilitators in the workplace and aid in the creation of more targeted health promotion that could increase positive employee health behaviors by eliminating common barriers and enhancing facilitators.

Financial strain, dyadic coping, relationship satisfaction, and psychological distress: A dyadic mediation study in Greek couples


Financial strain typically has a severe impact on a couple's functioning and the well-being of its members. In this study, we examined the indirect relation of financial strain to partners' relationship satisfaction and psychological distress, using dyadic coping as a mediator, in a sample of Greek couples. One hundred and eighteen couples participated in a cross-sectional study. Perceived material loss in the past and perceived threat of loss in the future were used as financial strain indices. The actor–partner interdependence mediation model was employed to test for the mediation hypotheses. According to the results, the complete mediation (i.e., only indirect) effects models showed an unsatisfactory fit to the data and were rejected. The partial mediation actor–partner interdependence mediation model revealed several statistically significant direct and indirect (actor and partner) effects of the financial strain indices. The results provide more support to the hypothesized mediated impact of financial strain on partners' relationship satisfaction than on psychological distress. The findings underline the importance of dyadic coping for couple's adaptation to financial strain. They also point to the need to examine responses to stress at a dyadic level.

Hardiness, avoidance coping, and alcohol consumption in war veterans: A moderated-mediation study


Military personnel often engage in excessive alcohol use after returning from deployments. Thus far, research has paid scant attention to personality factors that may increase or diminish the risk for increased alcohol consumption in this population. The present study explores how psychological hardiness, avoidance coping, and stress exposure may interact to influence alcohol consumption patterns in soldiers following deployment. U.S. Army National Guard soldiers (N = 357) were surveyed shortly after returning from combat operations in Afghanistan. Conditional process analysis was used to test for mediation and moderation effects. Mediation effects were further tested in a replication sample of Norwegian Army soldiers (N = 230) deployed to Kosovo. Findings show that hardiness is a significant (negative) predictor of increased alcohol use and that this relation is mediated by avoidance coping. Further, this effect was moderated by combat stress exposure in the U.S. sample, such that the mediation is stronger for those with greater exposure (moderated-mediation). Avoidance coping also mediated the effects of hardiness on alcohol consumption in the Norwegian sample. These findings suggest that avoidance coping and hardiness may be fruitful areas for interventions aimed at reducing risky drinking in high-stress groups like the military.

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Gender Differences in Perceptions of Resources and Turnover Intentions of Work-Linked Couples in Masculine Occupations


Employees in work-linked marriages have spouses that share the same family and the same workplace and/or occupation. Whereas, in recent years, there has been increasingly more research on dual-career marriages (i.e. both spouses work, but not necessarily at the same workplace and/or occupation), there has been very little research on work-linked marriages. The current study focuses on work resources (i.e. family supportive supervisor behaviour and job control) as key mediating processes that explain the effect of gender on turnover intentions among work-linked employees in masculine occupations (i.e. military). Investigating gender differences is important because, compared with men, women are more likely to be in work-linked marriages and to leave their jobs. Based on role theory and conservation of resource theory, we predicted that gender was related to turnover intentions, and this relationship would be mediated by key explanatory variables (i.e. family supportive supervisor behaviours, job control and psychological distress). Mediation analyses, conducted on a sample of men and women in work-linked marriages (n = 309), provide support for the hypothesized model. These findings offer guidance for understanding gender differences among work-linked employees in masculine occupations, and how these differences can affect important outcomes such as turnover intentions. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Surface acting and exhaustion: The moderating role of eudaimonia


Surface acting (faking emotions) is one of the stressors experienced by contact employees during service interactions with customers, and it has implications for workers' exhaustion. One challenge of research and practice is to identify moderators that help to better understand the positive relationships between surface acting and exhaustion. The present study proposes the two dimensions of eudaimonia beliefs about well-being (self-development and contribution-to-others beliefs) as moderators between surface acting and exhaustion. We performed regression analyses with 817 contact employees working in 118 health-care organizations providing services to people with intellectual disability. Results confirmed the hypotheses, showing that contribution-to-others strengthens the link from surface acting to exhaustion, whereas self-development weakens this relationship. Therefore, self-development beliefs act as a protector for workers when they have to deal with situations that require surface acting.

Investigating the work–family conflict and health link: Repetitive thought as a mechanism


Research is needed to investigate mechanisms linking work–family conflict to poor health in working adults. We took a novel approach to build on extant studies by testing a potential mechanism in these associations – repetitive thought. Data came from a sample of 203 partnered working adults. There were significant direct effects of work–family conflict with lower life satisfaction, positive affect, and perceived health as well as greater fatigue. As for total effects, work–family conflict was significantly associated with all health outcomes – life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, fatigue, perceived health, and chronic health conditions – in the expected directions through repetitive thought. This study provides support that repetitive thought is one potential mechanism of how work–family conflict can take a toll on psychological and physical health. Findings are discussed in relation to improving workplace policies to improve the health of working adults managing work–family conflict.

Work stressors, sleep quality, and alcohol-related problems across deployment: A parallel process latent growth modeling approach among Navy members


This study examined how work stressors were associated with sleep quality and alcohol-related problems among U.S. Navy members over the course of deployment. Participants were 101 U.S. Navy members assigned to an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer who experienced an 8-month deployment after Operational Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. Approximately 6 weeks prior to deployment, 6 weeks after deployment, and 6 months reintegration, participants completed measures that assessed work stressors, sleep quality, and alcohol-related problems. A piecewise latent growth model was conducted in which the structural paths assessed if work stressors influenced sleep quality or its growth over time, and in turn if sleep quality influenced alcohol-related problems intercepts or growth over time. A significant indirect effect was found such that increases in work stressors from pre- to postdeployment predicted decreases in sleep quality, which in turn were associated with increases in alcohol-related problems from pre- to postdeployment. These effects were maintained from postdeployment through the 6-month reintegration. Findings suggest that work stressors may have important implications for sleep quality and alcohol-related problems. Positive methods of addressing stress and techniques to improve sleep quality are needed as both may be associated with alcohol-related problems among current Navy members.

The importance of provision and utilization of supervisor support


Three cross-sectional studies examined the benefits of provision of supervisor support while controlling for subordinate utilization of supervisor support. Data were collected from workers in a subordinate role (Study 1 N = 355; Study 2 N = 229; Study 3 N = 109). Consistent with expectations, provision of supervisor support consistently explained unique variance in affective job criteria while controlling for utilization of supervisor support. The results indicate that supervisors should acknowledge that their workers experience the affective benefits of supervisor support even if the workers do not consistently use the support provided. Contrary to expectations, provision of supervisor support did not consistently explain unique variance in perceived job stressors while controlling for utilization of supervisor support. However, workers must utilize the supervisor support provided in order to perceive fewer job stressors. We recommend supervisors to take caution when relocating their support to different subordinates based solely on a lack of utilization of support, as this may cause higher perceived job stressors for their subordinates based on the lack of provision of that support.

Emotional contagion and burnout among nurses and doctors: Do joy and anger from different sources of stakeholders matter?


The present study adds novel knowledge to the literature on emotional contagion (EC), discrete emotions, job burnout, and the management of healthcare professionals by simultaneously considering EC as both a job demand and a job resource with multiple social pathways. Integrating EC into the job demands-resource model, we develop and test a conceptual model wherein multiple stakeholder sources of emotional exchanges (i.e., leaders, colleagues, patients) play a differential role in predicting caregivers' absorption of positive (i.e., joy) and negative (i.e., anger) emotions, and in turn, burnout. We tested this nomological network using structural equation modeling and invariance analyses on a sample of 252 nurses and 102 doctors from diverse healthcare wards in three Italian hospitals. Our findings show that not all emotional exchange sources contribute to the EC experience or likelihood of burnout. Specifically, we found that doctors absorbed joy and anger from their colleagues but not from their leaders or patients. In contrast, nurses absorbed joy and anger from leaders, colleagues, and patients. Surprisingly, we found that joy-absorbed and anger-absorbed were related to doctors' exhaustion and cynicism, but only to nurses' cynicism. We conclude with suggestions for advancing research and practice in the management of emotions for preventing burnout.

Lower cortisol response in high-resilient caregivers of people with autism: the role of anger


Caring for an offspring with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been related to high stress levels and health disturbances. However, a protective effect against these negative health outcomes has been described in high-resilient caregivers. In this context, the main aim of the present study was to assess the association between resilient coping and cortisol response to acute stress in caregivers of people with ASD. Furthermore, the study aimed to explore the mediating role of anger in this association. We exposed 40 caregivers of people with ASD to an acute psychosocial stressor in the laboratory. Salivary cortisol samples were obtained before, during, and after the stressor. Resilient coping, anger, and socio-demographic variables were also assessed. Resilient coping was negatively correlated with cortisol response. Specifically, cortisol release was lower in high-resilient than low-resilient caregivers. Anger was positively correlated with cortisol response, mediating the association with resilient coping. The observed associations of resilient coping and anger with cortisol response indicate that these variables may affect health outcomes, resilience being protective and anger harmful. Psychotherapeutic interventions focused on strengthening resilience and anger management could benefit caregivers, improving their health status and quality of life.

Associations among stress, gender, sources of social support, and health in emerging adults


This study aimed to examine how sources of social support intersect with stress and health by testing two theoretical models. Three relationship-specific sources of social support (family, friends, and romantic partners) and two health indicators (self-rated physical health and depressive symptoms) were investigated. The sample consisted of 636 emerging adults attending college (age range: 18–25). Results suggest that only support from family was a stress-buffer, in that it buffered the adverse association between stress and depressive symptoms. Holding stress constant, only support from family was related to self-rated physical health and only support from friends or romantic partners was associated with depressive symptoms. There were no gender differences in the mean levels of self-rated physical health and depressive symptoms. However, gender moderations were found, in that the positive relationship between friends support and physical health was observed only in women, that the association between friends support and depressive symptoms was greater in men than in women, and that family support buffered the negative relationship between stress and physical health only in men. Findings of this study suggest that the associations among stress, social support, and health vary by the sources of support, the health outcome, and gender.

Curvilinear relationships between resource allocation and life domain-specific interference


This study investigated the inherent complexities of the work-life interface (WLI) by examining the relationship between resource allocation (i.e., time and energy dedicated to a particular domain) and perceived interference of individual life domains. Much of the research on the WLI is based on the assumption that a linear pattern best describes the relationship between resource allocation and the interference caused by various life domains; however, this study examined the possibility that curvilinear relationships may be a more appropriate representation. Results indicated that resource allocation is a meaningful predictor of interference, and for many life domains a curvilinear relationship accounts for more variance than a linear one; a breakdown of the sample also revealed this relationship varies by gender. Overall, findings suggest that the nature of the WLI is more individualized and complex than is currently conceptualized in the field.

Latent classes of resilience and psychological response among only-child loss parents in China


Only-child loss parents in China recently gained extensive attention as a newly defined social group. Resilience could be a probable solution out of the psychological dilemma. Using a sample of 185 only-child loss people, this study employed latent class analysis (a) to explore whether different classes of resilience could be identified, (b) to determine socio-demographic characteristics of each class, and (c) to compare the depression and the subjective well-being of each class. The results supported a three-class solution, defined as ‘high tenacity-strength but moderate optimism class’, ‘moderate resilience but low self-efficacy class’ and ‘low tenacity but moderate adaption-dependence class’. Parents with low income and medical insurance of low reimbursement type and without endowment insurance occupied more proportions in the latter two classes. The latter two classes also had a significant higher depression scores and lower subjective well-being scores than high tenacity-strength but moderate optimism class. Future work should care those socio-economically vulnerable bereaved parents, and an elastic economic assistance policy was needed. To develop targeted resilience interventions, the emphasis of high tenacity-strength but moderate optimism class should be the optimism. Moderate resilience but low self-efficacy class should be self-efficacy, and low tenacity but moderate adaption-dependence class should be tenacity.

Psychological distress following crime victimization: An exploratory study from an agency perspective


Deficits in recognition of suffering play a significant role in the etiology of psychological distress in crime victims. However, given the preliminary status of the literature, it seems necessary to take other factors into account as well. Starting from an agency perspective, this study explored three such factors: negative self-attributions, peritraumatic distress, and early posttraumatic emotions. More specifically, this study explored whether the association between recognition deficits and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms observed in other studies could be replicated and, if so, whether this association was mediated by negative self-attributions and would decrease in strength when taking into account the adverse roles of peritraumatic distress and early posttraumatic emotions. To address these questions, we used prospective data from 201 victims who had reported a crime to the Dutch police. Recognition deficits, negative self-attributions, peritraumatic distress, and early posttraumatic emotions were assessed within 1 month after the crime report and PTSD symptoms 1 month later. Results indicated that the association between recognition deficits and PTSD symptoms was partly mediated by negative self-attributions and that the strength of this association decreased when controlling for peritraumatic distress and early posttraumatic emotions.

Relational job characteristics and well-being: A study among Portuguese and Brazilian hospital nurses


Nurse well-being is a crucial factor in the quality of care given to patients and in patient safety. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the psychological effects of relational job characteristics (PERJCs) and indicators of well-being in hospital nurses. The data for this correlational study were collected from an online survey responded to by a sample of 620 hospital nurses (335 Portuguese and 285 Brazilian). Statistical procedures included structural equation modeling and multigroup analysis. A full mediation model was supported by data analysis, in which work-related well-being (i.e., engagement and burnout) explained the relationships between hospital nurses' perceived social worth and their context-free well-being. Moreover, in the Portuguese sample, the perceived social impact on client lives and the affective commitment to clients were indirectly related to the context-free well-being of nurses, through work engagement. Practical implications are presented in order to foster the PERJCs, thus contributing to nurse well-being.

Mindfulness as a personal resource to reduce work stress in the job demands-resources model


Based on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model, this study examines the different ways that the personal resource of mindfulness reduces stress. Structural equation modeling based on data from 415 Australian nurses shows that mindfulness relates directly and negatively to work stress and perceptions of emotional demands as well as buffering the relation of emotional demands on psychological stress. This study contributes to the literature by employing empirical analysis to the task of unravelling how personal resources function within the JD-R model. It also introduces mindfulness as a personal resource in the JD-R model.

Appraisal of transplant-related stressors, coping strategies, and psychosocial adjustment following kidney transplantation


This study examined the relations between appraisal of transplant-related stressors, coping, and adjustment dimensions following kidney transplantation (KT). Two models were tested: (1) the main effects model proposing that stress appraisal and coping strategies are directly associated with adjustment dimensions; and (2) the moderating model of stress proposing that each coping strategy interacts with stress appraisal. Importantly, there is a lack of research examining the two models simultaneously among recipients of solid organ transplantation. A total of 174 KT recipients completed the questionnaires. Predictors of post-transplant adjustment included appraisal of transplant-related stressors and coping strategies (task-, emotion-, and avoidance-focused). Adjustment dimensions were psychological distress, worries about the transplant, feelings of guilt, fear of disclosure of transplant, adherence, and responsibility for the functioning of the new organ. The main and moderating effects were tested with regression analyses. Appraisal of transplant-related stressors and emotion-oriented coping were related to all adjustment dimensions, except of adherence and responsibility. Task-oriented coping was positively related to responsibility. Avoidance-oriented coping was negatively correlated with adherence. Only 1 out of 18 hypothesized interactive terms was significant, yielding a synergistic interaction between appraisal of transplant-related stressors and emotion-oriented coping on the sense of guilt. The findings have the potential to inform interventions promoting psychosocial adjustment among KT recipients.

Patterns in response to chronic terrorism threats: A construct of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses among Israeli citizens


Israeli citizens are exposed to unpredictable and chronic terrorism threats that significantly jeopardize their personal sense of safety. The purpose of the present study is to present how Israeli discourse is structured with regard to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to chronic terrorism threats and to understand the range of responses as well as map the risk and protective factors of this existential threat. Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 40 Israeli adults (22 women and 18 men). Qualitative analysis revealed three patterns of responses to ongoing terrorism: emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. Emotional responses include fear, worry, sense of empathy, and detachment. Cognitive responses include situational assessment and pursuit of solutions, the use of traumatic imagining, beliefs in fate and luck, and optimism. Behavioral responses include looking for information, alertness, and habituation. The findings also revealed another response, which combines cognitive and behavioral responses. Some of the responses are innovative and unique to the threat of terrorism. Mapping the responses revealed mental health risk factors, as well as protective factors that can help structure personal and national resilience. These findings have implications on the treatment and prevention of personal and social pathologies, and how to effectively cope with terrorism threats.

Stress, fatigue, and sleep quality leading up to and following a stressful life event


This study aims to examine (a) the time course of stress, fatigue, and sleep quality among PhD students awaiting a stressful event and (b) whether daily anticipation of this event influences day-level stress, fatigue, and sleep quality. Forty-four PhD students completed evening and morning questionnaires on eight days from 1 month before their dissertation defense until one month thereafter. Results showed increased stress leading up to the defense, while fatigue and sleep quality remained unchanged. Comparing the night before the defense with the night after, stress rapidly decreased, whereas fatigue and sleep quality increased. Following the defense, stress and sleep quality remained stable, whereas fatigue declined. Stress 1 month before the defense was higher than 1 month thereafter. Regarding day-level relations, stress was adversely affected by negative anticipation and favorably by positive outcome expectancy, whereas positive anticipation had no influence. Positive outcome expectancy was an important predictor of improved sleep quality. We conclude that stress may be elevated long before a stressful event takes place but that one can recover rather quickly from temporary stress. Positive outcome expectancy of a stressful event may be an important predictor of reduced day-level stress and improved day-level sleep quality leading up to a stressful event.

Mental health of women entering fertility treatment: What role do age and internal resources play?


Drawing on Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) model of stress and coping, the study aimed at (a) examining the associations between the mental health of women entering fertility treatment and their internal resources (hope and two aspects of self-consciousness: reflection and rumination); (b) indicating whether mental health is associated with age (above or below 35), and whether this association is mediated by the internal resources. The sample consisted of 137 women (76 aged 20–34; 61 aged 35–44) at the start of fertility treatment who completed a series of self-report questionnaires. Results indicated that younger women reported higher distress and rumination than older women. Higher hope was associated with greater well-being, and higher rumination was associated with greater distress. Furthermore, hope and rumination were found to mediate the association between age and mental health. These findings highlight the importance of developing age-based interventions for women entering fertility treatment, aimed at strengthening their resilience to effectively cope with the demanding process ahead.