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Stress and Health

Wiley Online Library : Stress and Health

Published: 2018-02-01T00:00:00-05:00


Help me if you can: Psychological distance and help-seeking intentions in employee–supervisor relations


Social support at work is considered useful in treating job-related stress, and supervisors' emotional support has been found to be the most effective source of support at work. But an understanding of what elements make employees use supervisors as a source of emotional support is lacking. The present qualitative study included in-depth interviews with 24 teachers and 12 principals and a focus group with 12 school counsellors. The findings pointed at 2 groups of determinants of subordinates' intentions of asking socioemotional help from supervisors. The structural–organizational factors included low formalization structure, supportive and open work climate, shared goals, and manager's professional expertise; the dyadic factors included quality of relationship and demographic similarity. The determinants reflected different dimensions of psychological distance forming a close construal level that played a central part in employees' viewing the supervisor as an accessible socioemotional resource. The role of construal fit is discussed.

Examining the psychological and emotional mechanisms of mindfulness that reduce stress to enhance healthy behaviours


Engagement in modifiable health behaviours plays a critical role in the development of chronic illnesses. Research suggests that mindfulness facilitates health-enhancing behaviour, yet the influence of mindfulness on different health behaviours and the mechanisms underlying this association are unclear. This study investigated a mediation model that explores psychological and emotional coping processes (reappraisal, suppression, and psychological flexibility) as mechanisms connecting mindfulness to reduced stress perceptions and reactions, which then predict physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and sleep quality. Adults (n = 233) completed self-report measures via Amazon's Mechanical Turk and path modelling was used to test the model for direct, indirect, and total effects. Results revealed that greater mindfulness was indirectly associated with greater engagement in all 3 health behaviours through the proposed mediators, although the association with fruit and vegetable consumption was only trending in significance. Among the coping processes, psychological flexibility emerged as the strongest mechanism in the prediction of stress. Findings suggest that being more mindful may have downstream stress-reductive effects that enhance engagement in healthy behaviour, supporting mindfulness as a potential addition to behavioural health interventions.

Type D personality is associated with increased desire for alcohol in response to acute stress


Type D personality (the combination of negative affectivity and social inhibition) is associated with high levels of alcohol consumption. We examined if Type D was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, and if Type D was associated with desire for alcohol in response to a social stressor. In an experimental study, participants (n = 138) completed measures of Type D, stress, and alcohol use. They also took part in a stress-inducing public speaking task and provided measures of desire for alcohol at baseline, stressor, and recovery. Type D was associated with higher levels of alcohol use, stress, and desire for alcohol at stressor and recovery. Mixed measures analysis of variance demonstrated that there was a significant group effect of Type D (F(1, 136) = 6.86, p < .05) and a significant time × Type D interaction (F(1.50, 204.49) = 3.44, p < .05) on desire for alcohol. Type D individuals exhibited significantly higher levels of desire for alcohol during the stressor and recovery phases, compared to non-Type D individuals suggesting that Type D individuals may be motivated to consume alcohol in order to cope with stressful situations.

Reactions to psychological contract breaches and organizational citizenship behaviours: An experimental manipulation of severity


Grounded in affective events theory, we investigated the effects of experimentally manipulated psychological contract breaches on participants' feelings of violation, subsequent perceptions of psychological contract strength, and organizational citizenship behaviours in a sample of working adults. Results support previous findings that pre-existing relational psychological contract strength interacts with severity of unmet promises or expectations. Specifically, individuals with high relational contracts who experience low severity of unmet promises/expectations have the lowest breach perceptions, whereas individuals with high relational contracts who experience more severe levels unmet promises/expectations experience the highest level of breach perceptions. Results also support the concept of a breach spiral in that prior perceptions of breach led to an increased likelihood of subsequent perceptions of breach following the experimental manipulation. Furthermore, consistent with affective events theory, results support the argument that a psychological contract breach's effect on specific organizational citizenship behaviours is mediated by feelings of violation and the reassessment of relational contracts. These effects were present even after controlling for the direct effects of the manipulated severity of unmet promises/expectations.

Change in perceived stress and 2-year change in cognitive function among older adults: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing


Prolonged or severe stress can adversely affect older adults' cognitive function, but population-based studies investigating this relationship over time are rare. Previous studies have largely focused on stress either evaluated at a single time point or linked to specific life events. This study aimed to investigate whether a change in perceived stress over 2 years predicts a change in cognitive performance over the same time period in a population-based sample of older adults. Data from the first 2 waves of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing were analyzed. Five thousand and seventy adults aged 50 and older completed the 4-item Perceived Stress Scale and measures of verbal fluency, immediate and delayed word recall 2 years apart. A first differences regression model revealed that the change in stress over 2 years was inversely associated with a change in immediate word recall performance, even after adjustment for change in possible confounders (B = −0.030, 95% CI [−.056, −.004], p < .05). No association was observed for delayed recall or verbal fluency performance. Change in perceived stress is inversely correlated with change in immediate recall, even over a short period. Stress modifying interventions could potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline associated with ageing.

Challenge and hindrance demands lead to employees' health and behaviours through intrinsic motivation


Based on the job demand-resource theory, this study examined the differential relationships of two types of job demands, challenge and hindrance stressors, with three outcomes: ill health, organizational citizenship behaviour, and work engagement. These relationships were mediated by two personal resources: psychological empowerment and organization-based self-esteem (OBSE). Data were collected at two separate points, 2 weeks apart. With 336 full-time U.S. employees, results from path analysis indicated that the challenge stressor, workload, was positively related to psychological empowerment and OBSE, both of which were in turn positively related to good work behaviours as well as negatively related to ill health, an indication that employees experienced physical symptoms and psychological strains. In contrast, hindrance stressors (role stressors and interpersonal conflict) showed the opposite patterns of relationships with these intermediate outcomes, resulting in less empowerment and OBSE. Overall, findings suggested that psychological empowerment and OBSE were important intrinsic motivational mechanisms through which some stressors (especially hindrance demands) can promote employees' favourable work behaviours as well as alleviate the negative health outcomes.

Relationship style and glycaemic control in women with type 2 diabetes: The mediating role of psychological distress


This study examined whether depressive symptoms and/or diabetes distress mediate the association between relationship style and glycaemic control in women with diabetes. Seventy-five women with type 2 diabetes completed the Relationship Questionnaire. Participants endorsing “secure” or “preoccupied” adult attachment were combined into the interactive relationship style and “dismissing/avoidant” or “fearful” adult attachment were combined into the independent relationship style. Glycaemic control was a latent variable composed of A1c and 48-hr continuously measured glucose. Diabetes distress was assessed with the Problem Areas in Diabetes scale and depressive symptoms with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. A parallel multiple mediation model with relationship style as the independent variable, glycaemic control as the dependent variable, and Problem Areas in Diabetes and Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale as mediators, tested indirect effects. Bias-corrected bootstrap with 10,000 replications was used to construct 95% confidence intervals. The indirect association of relationship style with glycaemic control through diabetes distress was significant (effect = −0.09, p = .036, 95CI = −0.19–0.01), but through depressive symptoms was not. A model testing the indirect association of relationship style with diabetes distress through glycaemic control was not significant. Results suggest that relationship style is associated with glycaemic control through diabetes distress in women with type 2 diabetes.

Changes and predictors of psychological stress among elderly stroke survivors 6 months after hospital discharge


The aim of this study was to analyse the changes in psychological stress and identify its basal predictors among elderly stroke survivors after 6 months following discharge from hospital to home directly, rather than to a rehabilitation facility. The sample comprised 50 elderly stroke survivors. Data were collected at 2 weeks (T1), at 3 months (T2), and at 6 months (T3) after hospital discharge. The following instruments were applied: Perceived Stress Scale—10 items (PSS-10), National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, Functional Independence Measure, and Geriatric Depression Scale—15 items. Study records indicated that the age of the study participants ranged from 60 to 87 years old (mean = 70.3; standard deviation = 7.6). The number of male and female participants was similar. The PSS-10 score decreased almost 6 points between T1 (mean = 15.1) and T3 (mean = 9.7; p < .001). Both Functional Independence Measure (p = .025) and Geriatric Depression Scale-15 (p = .017) scores at T1 predicted the PSS-10 score at T3. The study thus demonstrated that elderly stroke survivors experienced significant stress after hospital discharge, which tended to improve over the next 6 months. Depression and lower functional independence 2 weeks after discharge were predictors of a greater level of psychological stress at 6 months following discharge.

Relevance of terrorism for Italian students not directly exposed to it: The affective impact of the 2015 Paris and the 2016 Brussels attacks


Notwithstanding the dramatically increasing frequency of acts of terrorism in Europe and the extent of their media coverage, there is lack of knowledge on people's affective reactions and associated emotion regulation strategies. We explored the affective impact on two cohorts of Italian students (n = 193) possibly exposed vicariously through the mass media to the 2015 Paris or the 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks, respectively. We accessed data from three online questionnaires: one on emotion regulation administered before each attack; one on daily affect administered just before and after each attack; and one on causes of weekly affect and life satisfaction administered at the end of the week in which each attack occurred. The attacks were perceived as relevant for influencing negative affect for 22% of the students. For them, suppression—less frequently used than reappraisal—was associated with an improvement of affect after each attack but negatively related to life satisfaction concerning the week in which the attacks occurred. Our data showed that the recent terrorist attacks occurring in Europe had an affective impact on people at some distance who were vicariously exposed and point to the protective role of emotion regulation as a key resource for individuals' well-being.

Self-imposed pressure or organizational norms? Further examination of the construct of workplace telepressure


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are rapidly becoming indispensable organizational tools. Though the benefits of such technologies have been trumpeted, recent research has examined the unique pressures that may be introduced through the lens of a construct called workplace telepressure, defined as an urge for and preoccupation with quickly responding to ICTs (e.g., email). The current study further explores the workplace telepressure construct as a unique contributor to measures of workplace well-being over and above perceived workplace demands and individual differences, introducing new constructs into the study of workplace telepressure. Furthermore, the study critically evaluates the term “telepressure” as applied to the underlying construct, as “pressure” may connote a perception of external force being placed on an individual, whereas the definition offered by past research identifies a preoccupation and urge to respond immediately to ICT messages, which may be internally generated. Finally, the ability of workplace telepressure to account for unique variance in workplace subjective well-being measures is investigated.

Economic strain and support in couple: The mediating role of positive emotions


This study examined positive emotions as mediating mechanisms in the association between economic strain and spouses' supportive behaviour. Data were collected from 295 married couples living in Romania. Results from the Actor–Partner Mediator Model indicated that economic strain had a negative indirect effect on spouses' supportive dyadic coping due to its negative association with partners' positive emotions (joy, contentment, and pride). For both partners, positive emotions decreased when they experienced economic strain, which in turn reduced supportive dyadic coping in couples. These findings have theoretical implications in explaining the association of economic strain with partners' positive emotions and behaviours and also clinical implications for practitioners working with couples experiencing economic strain.

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.

Issue Information


No abstract is available for this article.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.