Age, the stress process, and physical distress: the role of distal stressors.
This article examines the nature of distal stressors over a 15-year period and the extent to which they contribute to the explanation of additional variation in the life stress model.The study uses data collected from a community sample of adults to test specific hypotheses.Findings show that (a) distal stressors significantly increase variance explained in physical symptoms and maintain a direct effect on physical symptoms, (b) recent stressors mediate the effects of distal stressors on distress, and (c) social resources have direct and mediating effects on physical distress. Variations exist for different age groups or life stages.The implications of the findings are discussed in the context of life course, theoretical issues of temporality, types of stressors, and the role of social resources. The major conclusion is that there are multiple pathways to distress that differ for different stages in the life course.
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