The life stress paradigm and psychological distress.

Journal Article

The paper focuses on two forces (stressors and resources) in the life stress process as they affect psychological distress. Utilizing three waves of panel data from a representative community sample in upstate New York, six causal models of the life stress process are tested with indicators of two types of stressors (social and physiological) and two types of resources (social and psychological). Both deterring and coping models are tested. Analysis shows that: (1) stressors and resources in the social environment have a direct impact on depressive symptoms, (2) social resources mediate the effects of social stressors on psychological distress, and (3) psychological resources indirectly affect distress by enhancing social resources. The critical role played by the social environment in the life stress process involving psychological distress is substantiated. The implications of these and other findings are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ensel, WM; Lin, N

Published Date

  • December 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 321 - 341

PubMed ID

  • 1765624

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1765624

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2150-6000

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1465


  • eng