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# Pessimistic explanatory style moderates the effect of stress on physical illness

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## Abstract

Explanatory style is a cognitive personality variable that reflects the tendency to explain bad events involving the self with causes that are internal to the self, stable across time, and global in effect. The attribution reformulation of helplessness theory predicts that stress coupled with a pessimistic explanatory style leads to negative outcomes, including physical illness, among at-risk individuals. This longitudinal study of 198 college students examined whether pessimistic explanatory style interacts with perceived stress to predict subsequent illness, even when controlling for baseline illness. Results confirmed this hypothesis.

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... Optimism can be defined as the attribution of positive outcomes to internal, pervasive, and permanent causes, and negative outcomes to external, situation-specific, and temporary causes (Seligman, 1990). In the psychology literature, optimism has been associated with psychological well-being (e.g., Cheng & Furnham, 2003), physiological health (e.g., Bennett & Elliot, 2005;Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002), and work outcomes (e.g., Schulman, 1999). Finally, self-efficacy is defined as an individual's confidence in himself or herself and ability to find a way to complete a specific task in a specific situation (Bandura, 1977). ...
... Specifically, organizational psychological capital is concerned with the aggregate level of individual psychological capital within the organization. Furthermore, the dimensions of individual-level psychological capital have been associated with physical health outcomes for which there can be no direct organizational-level analog (e.g., Jackson et al., 2002;Snyder et al., 1991). ...
Article
Applying individual-level constructs to higher levels of analysis can be a fruitful practice in organizational research. Although this practice is beneficial in developing and testing theory, there are measurement and validation concerns that, if improperly addressed, may threaten the validity and utility of the research. This article illustrates how computer-aided text analysis might be utilized to facilitate construct elevation while ensuring proper validation. Specifically, we apply a framework to develop organizational-level operationalizations of individual-level constructs using the psychological capital construct as an example.
... Aunque la gran mayoría de los estudios han podido corroborar la hipótesis de partida, prácticamente todos han medido sólo síntomas depresivos, sin embargo, algunos trabajos, que han estudiado síntomas de ansiedad, también han encontrado que mantienen una relación con este estilo explicativo (Ahrens y Haaga, 1993;Camuñas, Cano-Vindel, Pérez-Nieto y González, 2002;Helton, Dember, Warm y Matthews, 2000;Jackson, Sellers y Peterson, 2002;Johnson y Miller, 1990;Kopecky, Sawyer y Behnke, 2004;Martin-Krumm, Sarrazin, Peterson y Famose, 2003;Mineka, Pury y Luten, 1995;Ralph y Mineka, 1998;Wang y Zhang, 2005). ...
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Resumen: El estilo explicativo negativo se refiere a la tendencia relativamente estable a explicar las situaciones negativas mediante causas internas, estables y globales. Gran cantidad de estudios han relacionado este estilo con depresión clínica o síntomas depresivos. Algunos estudios también le han asociado con ansiedad y otras emociones negativas. El principal objetivo del presente traba-jo fue estudiar las relaciones entre el estilo explicativo negativo, afecto negativo y síntomas de ansie-dad y depresión. Los resultados mostraron, tal como se esperaba, que cuando se controlaba el efec-to del afecto negativo, las relaciones entre este estilo explicativo y los síntomas de ansiedad y depresión desaparecían, mientras que cuando se controlaban los síntomas de ansiedad y depresión la asociación entre el estilo explicativo y afecto negativo se mantenía. Se concluye que el estilo explicativo negativo no es específico de la depresión, sino que constituye un estilo cognitivo aso-ciado al malestar psicológico. Abstract: The negative explanatory style refers to the relatively stable tendency to explain nega-tive events by internal, stable, and global causes. This style has been widely related to clinical depres-sion or depressive symptoms. Some studies have also shown an association with anxiety and other negative emotions. The first goal of the present work was to study the relationships between nega-tive explanatory style, negative affect and symptoms of anxiety and depression. As expected, the results showed that when negative affect was controlled, the association between this explanatory style and symptoms of anxiety and depression disappeared, whereas when symptoms of anxiety and depression were controlled the relation between the explanatory style and negative affect was main-tained. It is concluded that negative explanatory style is not specific to depression, but it constitutes a cognitive style associated with psychological distress.
... Contrary to our hypothesis, the regression model including the interaction between explanatory style and emotional distress did not support the prediction that explanatory style plays a moderating role in this relationship. However, there is evidence that only pessimistic individuals are vulnerable to physical harm when faced with stress, and that for those with an optimistic explanatory style there is no relationship [47]. To test this possibility, the relationship between emotional distress and seizure load was examined separately in highly pessimistic subjects and highly optimistic subjects. ...
... Thus, measuring perceived stress seems like a stronger alternative. Jackson et al. [47] examined whether perceived stress interacts with explanatory style to predict subsequent illness in college students, and they found that a pessimistic explanatory style appears to exacerbate the impact of stress on illness. Interestingly, there was no relationship between stress and illness for those with an optimistic explanatory style. ...
Article
Stress is a commonly reported seizure precipitant among individuals with epilepsy. Yet, the relationship between stress and seizure susceptibility remains unclear. This study examined the relationship between emotional distress and lifetime seizure load in individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), as well as the potential moderating effect of explanatory style on this relationship. Data were collected from 148 individuals with TLE. Scales 2 and 7 of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory were used as a measure of emotional distress, and explanatory style was measured using the Revised Optimism-Pessimism Scale. Elevated Scale 2 scores were associated with an increase in seizure load only in subjects with Full Scale IQ scores> or =92. An interaction between emotional distress and explanatory style was not observed. Thus, for individuals with higher levels of intelligence, depression may be an important pathway in linking emotional distress to poor seizure control.
... A positive explanatory style is the opposite. In general usage, those who use negative explanatory styles are labeled pessimists whereas those who use positive explanatory styles are labeled optimists (Jackson, Sellers, and Peterson 2002;Wise and Rosqvist 2006). Among pessimists, bad events are usually understood as being caused by internal limitations (low intelligence, poor judgment), are seen as part of broader, stable conditions, and are thought of as encompassing all aspects of one's life. ...
... A substantial body of research suggests that these dimensions of causal attribution are consequential for understanding outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and school failure. Those who utilize internal, global, and stable attribution styles to interpret negative events are likely to experience more negative outcomes, such as school failure and poor interpersonal relations (Boman, Smith, and Curtis 2003;Jackson et al. 2002;Peterson and Seligman 1987;Skinner, Zimmer-Gembeck, and Connell 1998;Vázquez et al. 2001;Wise and Rosqvist 2006). In addition, people tend to attribute causes most often when experiencing negative events (Mikula 2003); positive or neutral events do not as consistently require a causal explanation when they occur. ...
Article
Findings from cost-benefit evaluations have suggested that the cost of substance abuse treatment is covered by the economic benefits to society. In this research we measure the economic impact of substance abuse treatment in a rural mountain state. Using a novel approach, cost data were gathered from four disparate state administrative databases, which were selected and matched to form one complete data set. A cost-benefit analysis was used to examine the aggregate economic impact of substance abuse treatment. The conservative post treatment outcome of the combined costs revealed a range or $4.12 to$3.98 million dollar overall offset, a difference that resulted in 20 to 16 percent savings above the fixed treatment cost. Policy implications are discussed.
... Alors qu'une variable médiatrice nous renseigne sur comment et pourquoi un certain effet a lieu, une variable modulatrice explique quand et sous quelles conditions cet effet se produit (Brauer, 2000 ). À notre connaissance , il n'existe qu'une seule étude qui ait testé le caractère modulateur du style explicatif (Jackson, Sellers & Peterson, 2002 sur la maladie, alors qu'un style optimiste « immunise » l'individu de ces conséquences néfastes. ...
... Après avoir été considéré comme un corrélat de différents symptômes , le style est maintenant appréhendé comme une variable distale ou un facteur de risque. Les travaux récents conduits à la fois dans le domaine de la pathologie (e.g., Jackson et al., 2002 ; Peterson & Steen, 2002) ou dans celui du sport ( Martin-Krumm et al., in press) &), il semble prometteur d'envisager les buts poursuivis par l'individu comme faisant partie de ces médiateurs potentiels. On peut en effet postuler que la poursuite de buts d'évitement (e.g., comportements de fuite ou de renoncement ; voir Cury & Da Fonséca, 2001), ou l'a-motivation (e.g., absence de motivation ; voir Vallerand & Grouzet, 2001 ) soient plus fréquentes parmi les sportifs ayant un style pessimiste . ...
Article
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Cette revue de littérature porte sur la théorie des « styles attributionnels » ou « styles explicatifs » (e.g., Abramson, Seligman & Teasdale, 1978), selon laquelle, chaque individu aurait une manière relativement stable d'expliquer les événements positifs ou négatifs susceptibles de lui arriver. Malgré son intérêt, celle-ci n'a fait l'objet que de très peu d'études dans le domaine des activités physiques et sportives. L'objectif de cet article est de faire un état des lieux de cette théorie, et de montrer en quoi elle peut intéresser la recherche dans le domaine du sport ou de l'éducation physique. Seront abordés en particulier, les racines historiques de la théorie, le problème de la mesure du style explicatif, les conséquences affectives, cognitives et comportementales des styles dans le domaine de la performance sportive, et la question de leurs antécédents. Enfin, les perspectives actuelles de ce champ théorique seront développées. Nous montrerons qu'après avoir été considéré comme un corrélat de différents symptômes, le style est maintenant appréhendé comme une variable distale et/ou une variable modulatrice. Les travaux portent maintenant davantage sur les processus, ainsi les résultats permettent de mieux comprendre les relations entre le style explicatif et différents types de déficits.
... Optimism has been studied as a moderator to buffer the relationships between stressors and behavioural and emotion consequences (Hirsch, Wolford, LaLonde, Brunk, & Parker-Morris, 2009;Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002;Segerstrom, 2005). According to the theory of explanatory style, optimistic people are used to appraising a stressful situation in a more positive way and believing the arriving of positive events and consequences in the future, while pessimistic people hold the opposite beliefs. ...
... According to the theory of explanatory style, optimistic people are used to appraising a stressful situation in a more positive way and believing the arriving of positive events and consequences in the future, while pessimistic people hold the opposite beliefs. Thus, by providing positive feelings and expectations, optimism can offer its help as a protective factor against the deleterious influence that stress may have on mental health (Jackson et al., 2002). ...
Article
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The current research examined the impact of general insecurity beyond specific domains on mental health, and optimism as the proposed mechanism explaining the aforementioned relationship. We also tested external attribution as a possible moderator. We collected data (N=219) in two waves. Results showed that general insecurity is negatively associated with mental health, and this relationship was mediated by optimism. Moreover, the external attribution buffered the aforementioned impacts, playing a role of internal resources and an effective coping strategy to protect psychological resources and mental health.
... A positive explanatory style is the opposite. In general usage, those who use negative explanatory styles are labeled pessimists whereas those who use positive explanatory styles are labeled optimists (Jackson, Sellers, and Peterson 2002;Wise and Rosqvist 2006). Among pessimists, bad events are usually understood as being caused by internal limitations (low intelligence, poor judgment), are seen as part of broader, stable conditions, and are thought of as encompassing all aspects of one's life. ...
... A substantial body of research suggests that these dimensions of causal attribution are consequential for understanding outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and school failure. Those who utilize internal, global, and stable attribution styles to interpret negative events are likely to experience more negative outcomes, such as school failure and poor interpersonal relations (Boman, Smith, and Curtis 2003;Jackson et al. 2002;Peterson and Seligman 1987;Skinner, Zimmer-Gembeck, and Connell 1998;Vázquez et al. 2001;Wise and Rosqvist 2006). In addition, people tend to attribute causes most often when experiencing negative events (Mikula 2003); positive or neutral events do not as consistently require a causal explanation when they occur. ...
Article
... The findings showed that the psychological immunization program positively influenced the reduction of pessimistic attribution style of the experimental group (P<0.001). This was consistent with previous studies (6,13,18,(34)(35)(36)(37). The studies have demonstrated that negative affection and emotion resulting from attribution style has an important effect on learning and academic achievement, because it determines the effort of a person to learn special skills (38). ...
... Dyslexic students, in comparison to normal peers, attribute their success and failure to external factors more than their ability, internal, controllable, and stable factors. When dyslexic students attribute their academic failures to external factors, it will form a low selfconcept in them which can remain until high school (22,36). This situation gradually leads to helplessness and feeling a lack of competence and makes the students less likely to start new duties, so they feel a lack of control over their environment (39). ...
Article
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Objectives: The present study was aimed to determine the effect of psychological immunization on pessimistic attribution in Female students with dyslexia. Methods: The study was an experimental one, in which 60 Female students with dyslexia were selected randomly from Learning Disabilities Centers in Isfahan. Subjects were assigned to experimental and control groups (15 individuals in each group). All students completed the Children Attributional Style Questionnaire before and after training sessions. The experimental group participated in 10 intervention sessions (twice a week 60 minutes per session) and were trained by psychological immunization program. Six weeks later, the experimental group answered the questionnaire again. Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance. Results: The results of the analysis of covariance showed that the intervention program significantly decreased the pessimistic attribution style of the experimental group in comparison to the control group (P
... Optimism can be defined as the attribution of positive outcomes to internal, pervasive, and permanent causes, and negative outcomes to external, situation-specific, and temporary causes (Seligman, 1990). In the psychology literature, optimism has been associated with psychological well-being (e.g., Cheng & Furnham, 2003), physiological health (e.g., Bennett & Elliot, 2005;Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002), and work outcomes (e.g., Schulman, 1999). Finally, self-efficacy is defined as an individual's confidence in himself or herself and ability to find a way to complete a specific task in a specific situation (Bandura, 1977). ...
... Specifically, organizational psychological capital is concerned with the aggregate level of individual psychological capital within the organization. Furthermore, the dimensions of individual-level psychological capital have been associated with physical health outcomes for which there can be no direct organizational-level analog (e.g., Jackson et al., 2002;Snyder et al., 1991). ...
Article
Full-text available
Applying individual-level constructs to higher levels of analysis can be a fruitful practice in organizational research. Although this practice is beneficial in developing and testing theory, there are measurement and validation concerns that, if improperly addressed, may threaten the validity and utility of the research. This article illustrates how computer-aided text analysis might be utilized to facilitate construct elevation while ensuring proper validation. Specifically, we apply a framework to develop organizational-level operationalizations of individual-level constructs using the psychological capital construct as an example.
... A positive explanatory style is the opposite. In general usage, those who use negative explanatory styles are labeled pessimists whereas those who use positive explanatory styles are labeled optimists (Jackson, Sellers, and Peterson 2002; Wise and Rosqvist 2006). Among pessimists, bad events are usually understood as being caused by internal limitations (low intelligence, poor judgment), are seen as part of broader, stable conditions, and are thought of as encompassing all aspects of one's life. ...
... A substantial body of research suggests that these dimensions of causal attribution are consequential for understanding outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and school failure. Those who utilize internal, global, and stable attribution styles to interpret negative events are likely to experience more negative outcomes, such as school failure and poor interpersonal relations (Boman, Smith, and Curtis 2003; Jackson et al. 2002; Peterson and Seligman 1987; Skinner, Zimmer-Gembeck, and Connell 1998; Vázquez et al. 2001; Wise and Rosqvist 2006). In addition, people tend to attribute causes most often when experiencing negative events (Mikula 2003); positive or neutral events do not as consistently require a causal explanation when they occur. ...
Article
Full-text available
Tittle, Ward, and Grasmick (2004) developed the idea of “self-control desire” as a key in understanding variability in crime and deviance, above and beyond low self-control (ability). The current study investigated the interplay between self-control ability, self-control desire, and deviance. Both self-control ability and self-control desire had independent effects on a variety of deviance measures; in addition, the interactive effects between the two were also significant. Results also indicate that the measure of self-control desire is composed of two different dimensions, namely punishment-avoiding self-control desire, a construct that shares conceptual similarities with perceived sanctions, and reward-seeking self-control desire. The independent and interactive effects of punishment-avoiding self-control desire and self-control ability on deviance were supported in the current study. However, reward-seeking self-control desire was unrelated to deviance once the effects by punishment-avoiding self-control desire and self-control ability were controlled. Follow-up analyses on the interaction effects indicate that the relationships between self-control ability and deviance were weaker for people with higher levels of self-control desire; in addition, the effects by self-control ability were not significant at high levels of self-control desire. Similarly, self-control ability was also found to attenuate the relationships between self-control desire and deviance; self-control desire did not predict deviance at high levels of self-control ability.
... Additionally, pessimism has been tied to both stress (Iwanaga, Yokoyama, & Seiwa, 2004) and negative health outcomes (Maruta, Colligan, Malinchoc, & Offord, 2002) in previous research, suggesting it may play a more sophisticated role as a mechanism of the stress-health relationship. In fact, research has examined pessimism as a moderator between stress and health in adults, finding that pessimistic explanatory style interacts with stress to predict augmented physical illness symptoms (Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002). Seligman's (1991) theory of explanatory styles and ''learned optimism'' poses that there are differences in the way individuals respond to stressful events. ...
Article
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Involvement in peer victimization has been associated with numerous negative consequences, including poor physical health. The purpose of this study is to improve on previous research evaluating the victimization-health relationship by examining the health (i.e., health-related quality of life [HRQoL], medical service utilization) of both victims and aggressors and examining individual variation in this relationship through the moderating effect of pessimism. The sample included 125 ethnically diverse youth aged 8-11 years recruited from a low-income medical practice. Child-report of involvement in peer victimization and pessimism was assessed along with parent-report of HRQoL. 2-year medical service utilization was extracted from medical records. Although not all hypotheses were supported, victims and aggressors were found to be at increased risk for certain poor health outcomes, which were exacerbated by high levels of pessimism. Findings expand on research into peer victimization and health and provide important implications for identification, prevention, and intervention strategies with at-risk youth.
... In additíon, sorne studies have found a negative relatíon between posítíve explanatory style and physical symptoms and illness report (Jaékson, Sellers & Peterson, 2002;Peterson, 1988), number of doctor's appointments (Peter son, 1988;Peterson & De Avila, 1995), number of illnesses suffered (Peter son, Seligman & Vaillant, 1988), length of time il1 (Dykema, Bergbower & Peterson, 1995) and mortality percent (Peterson, Seligman, Yurko, Martín & Friedman, 1998). Moreover, it is foilnd a direct relation between positive explanatory style and survival time after cancer or cardiovascular diseases diagnose (Buchanan, 1995;Peterson, 1995). ...
... We recently found higher social support and beneficial emotional regulation to be related to a reduced stress reactivity of stress hormones in hypertension [13], but studies on this issue are sparse. Previous research has suggested links between attributional styles and health outcomes [14][15][16][17][18]. Attributional styles are the habitual manner in which individuals explain positive or negative events in their lives. ...
... We suspect that the deleterious consequences of 272 IJEBR 20,3 the cross-sectional approach in this research are limited by the fact that attributional or explanatory style is not situation or time dependent, but a cognitive personality variable. It is a tendency to explain bad events involving the self with causes that are internal to the self and stable across time, such as a lack of ability ( Jackson et al., 2002). ...
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... In addition, the results showed that participants with the pessimistic style had greater stress reactivity (assessed by an increase in heart rate before the second testing) than the ones with the optimistic style; a result which is in keeping with certain former works showing that pessimism correlates positively with anxiety (e.g. Mineka et al., 1995;Helton et al., 2000;Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002). To explain the lack of control over bad events with stable and general causes can increase the perceived threat and in turn the level of anxiety. ...
Article
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Some athletes habitually explain bad events with causes that are stable in time and global in effect, and explain good events with causes that are unstable and specific. This pessimistic explanatory style constitutes a dispositional risk factor likely to lead to lower expectations of success, to increased anxiety, and to poor achievement. Sixty-two participants (mean age 14 years) performed a basketball dribbling trial and were given false feedback indicating that they had failed. Consistent with prediction, in a second trial, the optimistic participants (N=22) were less anxious (assessed by heart rate acceleration), more confident, and performed better than pessimistic participants (N=20). A third group with a neutral explanatory style (N=20) obtained scores which were between the two other groups.
... In recent years, there has been extensive and continuing research driven by both the revised learned helplessness paradigm and hopelessness theory. Much of the hopelessness research has specifically examined the relationship between hopelessness and de-pression (Alloy et al., 2000;Hankin, Abramson, & Siler, 2001), whereas helplessness has been linked to a wide range of phenomena such as physical illness (e.g., Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002) and traumatic accidents (e.g., Peterson et al., 2001). Thus, hopelessness theory may not be seen so much as supplanting the revised learned helplessness theory as providing a related alternative theory with a more specific focus. ...
Article
We examined (a) whether attributional style is related to trauma and depressive symptoms among battered women, and (b) whether women from a battered women's shelter report a more helpless (or hopeless) attributional style than do women from the community. Women from a woman's shelter (n = 49) and a comparison group of women from the community (n = 51) completed measures of attributional style, relationship conflict, and psychological distress. As expected, women from the shelter reported considerably higher levels of conflict and distress. Furthermore, attributional style contributed to the prediction of both depressive and trauma symptoms. However, there was no evidence that battered women's attributional sty le differed from that of other women. Overall, the results provided some support for the revised learned helplessness model, but they did not support Walker's (2000) contention that partner abuse results in learned helplessness.
... They tend to loneliness and helplessness instead of solving the problem. According to the revised helplessness theory (12), individuals attribute their distress and helplessness to causes, classified according to three dimensions: internalexternal, general-specific, and stable-unstable (13). The lack of control in learned helplessness situation, not only affects human health but also effects on explaining the lack of control (attribution style) (14). ...
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it is about the attribution retraining intervention on health enhancement of epileptic children
... The literature has shown that a pessimistic explanatory style was related to poor work performance, academic failure, athletic setbacks, (Lin & Peterson, 2002) and was a risk factor for illness (Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002). In addition, pessimism has been associated with higher levels of negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression (Marshall, Wortman, Kusulas, Hervig, & Vickers, 1992). ...
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Those with an optimistic explanatory style have generally been linked with improved mental and physical health across a variety of chronic and serious conditions. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of explanatory style on sport related concussions. University varsity athletes (n = 348) from six interdependent team sports at two universities completed both the Attributional Style Questionnaire and the Sport History Questionnaire to examine personality variables and concussion rehabilitation. Overall, the findings indicated that explanatory style did not influence concussion recovery. However, it did effect concussion prevalence, with pessimists experiencing significantly more concussions. Furthermore, various gender differences were demonstrated for concussion prevalence and recovery. The current results help understand the psychology of concussions, as well as concussion prevention efforts and management strategies.
... Une étude a testé le caractère modulateur du style explicatif (Jackson, Sellers, & Peterson, 2002). Les auteurs de cette étude ont pu mettre en évidence les effets néfastes du stress sur la maladie, alors qu'un style optimiste « immunise » l'individu de ces conséquences délétères. ...
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While the current usage wants that optimism and pessimism are considered as being at the extremities of the same continuum, the results of recent researches reveal that their reality is much more complex, much more than lets it understand their common usage. The aim of this article is to present their various facets and conceptions, their definitions and measures, their consequences and potential origins, even the available strategies of intervention to increase the level of optimism and\or reduce the level of pessimism. The questions, which arouse these concepts, will be put, possible answers evoked and perspectives in terms of further researches envisaged.
... Our study did not show a direct association between attribution of race and 12-month depression in any of the race by gender subgroups. Some [57,58] studies have documented the moderating effects of cognition on the association between stressful exposures and health outcomes. Most studies, however, have focused on the "main effect" of cognitive and explanatory style of race on health [59]. ...
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Objective: Although the association between discrimination and depression among Blacks is well-known, we do not know if this effect is influenced by race attribution. In this current study, we investigated the effect modification of race attribution on the association between everyday discrimination and major depressive disorder (MDD) among Blacks in the United States, and whether this effect modification is influenced by the intersection of ethnicity and gender. Methods: With a cross-sectional design, this study used data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), 2001-2003. The study included a nationally representative sample of Blacks (n = 5,008), composed of 3,570 African Americans and 1,438 Caribbean Blacks. Everyday discrimination, two single-item measures of race attribution (race as the major barrier against upward social mobility, and race as the main cause for being discriminated against) and 12-month MDD were measured. In the first step, we fit logistic regressions to the pooled sample. In the next step, we ran regressions specific to the intersections of ethnicity and gender. Interaction between race attribution and discrimination were also entered into the models. Results: Among Caribbean Black men, the belief that race is a major barrier against one's own upward social mobility modified the association between exposure to daily discrimination and MDD. In this group, the association between discrimination and MDD was weaker among those who believed that race is a major barrier against one's own upward social mobility. Race attribution did not modify the association between discrimination and MDD among African American men, African American women, and Caribbean Black women. The other measure of race attribution (race as the main cause of being discriminated against) did not modify the association between discrimination and MDD in any ethnicity by gender subgroups. Conclusions: Among Caribbean Black men, the link between everyday discrimination and depression may depend on seeing race as the main barrier against upward social mobility. Among African American men and women, however, the link between discrimination and MDD does not depend on race attribution. Our results suggest that ethnicity, gender, and race attribution may alter the association between discrimination and risk of MDD among Blacks.
... They spread their inefficient feelings to their other experiences and, as a result, rather than address the problem appropriately, experience isolation and helplessness. According to the revised helplessness theory (16), individuals attribute their helplessness to the situations which are categorized in 3 dimensions: internal-external, general-specific, and stable-unstable (17). Seligman stated that not only lack of control in terms of learned helplessness influences human health and well-being, but also it is important that how a person explains and attributes the lack of control (18). ...
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Background: Epilepsy affects children's quality of life and leads to social and mental problems. Promoting the mental health of children, especially epileptic ones, and preventing problems affecting them constitute major concerns for every country. Mental health promotion requires intervention programs. Objectives: We sought to assess the efficacy of attribution retraining on the mental health of epileptic children. Patients and methods: The present study is a semi-experimental investigation with a pretest and posttest design and includes a control group. Thirty children, comprising 17 boys and 13 girls, were selected randomly from the Iranian epilepsy association in Tehran and assigned to experimental and control groups. They answered to the general health questionnaire (Goldberg and Hiller, 1979). The experimental group participated in 11 training sessions (twice a week; 45 minutes for each session) and received attribution retraining. The data were analyzed using the multiple analysis of covariance. Results: The findings showed that the experimental group, in comparison with the control group, experienced a reduction in physical symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction, and depression and an increase in mental health significantly (P < 0.01) after the training sessions. There were no significant differences, however, between the two groups at 6 weeks' follow-up. Conclusions: Attribution retraining improved mental health in the epileptic children in our study. It, therefore, seems to be an appropriate intervention for promoting the mental health of children.
... They tend to loneliness and helplessness instead of solving the problem. According to the revised helplessness theory (12), individuals attribute their distress and helplessness to causes, classified according to three dimensions: internalexternal, general-specific, and stable-unstable (13). The lack of control in learned helplessness situation, not only affects human health but also effects on explaining the lack of control (attribution style) (14). ...
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Objective: Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease. Evidence has indicated that epilepsy has an impact on mental and physical health of children. The present study aimed to determine the effectiveness of attribution retraining on health enhancement of epileptic children. Materials & methods: This was an experimental study with a pre-test and a post-test design with a control group. Thirty students with epilepsy (11 female and 19 male students) were selected in convenience from Iranian Epilepsy Association. They were assigned to experimental and control groups and their mothers completed Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-PF.28) before and after the intervention. The experimental group attended to eleven sessions (each session 45 minutes; twice a week). Subjects were trained by attribution retraining program, but control group was not. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used for analyzing the data. Results: Health (both psychosocial and physical) of experimental group enhanced significantly after the intervention sessions compared to control group. Conclusion: Attribution retraining is an effective intervention to enhance the psychosocial and physical health of epileptic children.
... Penelitian yang dilakukan Jackson dan koleganya menemukan bahwa orang yang memandang sesuatu secara pesimistik akan berpengaruh terhadap penerimaan atas penderitaan stres dan akan berlanjut kepada kemunculan penyakit-penyakit. (Jackson dkk, 2002). Orang yang dalam keadaan sakit yang memiliki anggapan-anggapan buruk (negativeself-statements) terhadap dirinya dan memiliki anggapan buruk kepada lingkungan sosial (negative social cognition) akan lebih banyak merasakan sakit dan depresi (Gil dkk, 1990). ...
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This study wants to explain that positive thinking in perspective of Islamic Psychology, and to prove that positive thinking and mental health have a significant positive correlation. In Islamic psychology, positive thinking (husn al-zhann) is a qalb behaviour and one of good akhlaq (personality) which motivate to think positively to the God and others. Doing positive thinking to the God is indicated by tawakkal (trust in God), feeling love and forgiveness. Doing positive thinking to the others is indicated by absence of tajassus, tahassus, hatred, and hasad. The correlational anlysis found that positive thinking and mental health have a significant positive correlation (r=0,364/ sig=0,001). The regression anlysis found that positive thinking to the God is more influence on mental health (t= 3,409/ sig=0,001) than positive thinking to the others (t= -0,271/ sig=0,787).
... Dans le domaine de la santé encore, une étude récente a révélé que le mode pouvait moduler l'effet du stress sur la santé. Dans cette étude, Jackson, Sellers, et Peterson (2002) ont montré qu'un mode explicatif pessimiste augmentait l'effet du stress sur la santé physique, alors qu'un mode optimiste avait plutôt tendance à inhiber cet effet du stress. Globalement, les études récentes suggèrent plusieurs choses : d'abord, il est nécessaire de ne pas limiter le rôle du mode explicatif à un effet direct sur des déficits quels qu'ils soient. ...
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L’EMDR est une thérapie intégrative créée en 1987 par Shapiro évaluée comme efficace et rapide sur les états de stress post traumatiques. En 1995, elle améliore pour arriver à ce qu’elle appelle le Traitement Adaptatif de l’Information – TAI - (« Adaptative Informational Process : AIP »), révisé en 2001 et 2006. Cette théorie postule qu’il existe au plan cérébral un système de traitement des informations capable d’intégrer les nouvelles expériences à des réseaux de mémoire existants. Depuis d’autres pathologies ont été traitées avec l’EMDR. D’autre part, en 1998, Seligman donne naissance à la psychologie positive. Au lieu de considérer la «santé mentale » comme la « réduction des troubles neuropsychiatriques », il propose non plus d’aider les gens à passer de - 5 à 0 sur l’échelle de bonheur, mais de permettre à chacun de passer de 0 à + 5 sur un continuum de bonheur. Allier ces deux perspectives pose un certain nombre d’interrogations mais ouvre également des perspectives enthousiasmantes. Trois études ont porté sur les forces de caractères avec un échantillon de 60 sujets, pour la première, 100 sujets pour la seconde et une étude de cas avec pour objectif d’évaluer l’optimisation de l’intégration des forces avec des éléments provenant de l’EMDR. Les deux études suivantes ont porté sur la création d’un protocole EMDR d’optimisme et l’étude de ses possibilités. Nos conclusions sont que, plus que jamais, une théorisation rigoureuse est nécessaire (et elle est déjà à l’œuvre dans le cadre de la psychologie positive) et la validation scientifique des assertions est déterminante pour l’efficacité des interventions alliant psychologie positive et EMD
... For example, people who are aggressive tend to appraise situations in more aggressive terms (e.g., Cohen et al., 1998). Indeed, learned helplessness (Peterson and Seligman, 1984;Peterson et al., 1993), which is a pessimistic explanatory style coupled with stable and global self attributions of negative outcomes, predict strong and persistent negative emotions (see also Jackson et al., 2002). ...
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As employers respond to intensive global competition through the deregulation of labor, job insecurity has become a widespread problem. It has been shown to have significant health impacts in a growing number of workers, but less is known about its social distribution, the mechanisms through which it may act, and the moderating effects of gender, socioeconomic position, and company size. Utilizing data from a national survey of a representative sample of paid employees in Taiwan, we examined the prevalence of job insecurity and its associations with psychosocial work characteristics and health status. A total of 8705 men and 5986 women aged between 25 and 65 years old were studied. Information on perceived job insecurity, industrial and occupational types, psychosocial work characteristics as assessed by the Job Strain model, and various measures of health status were obtained by a self-administered questionnaire. The overall prevalence of job insecurity was high (50%). Job insecurity was more prevalent among employees with lower education attainment, in blue-collar and construction workers, those employed in smaller companies, and in older women. Insecure employees also reported lower job control, higher job demands, and poor workplace social support, as compared with those who held secure positions. Regression analyses showed that job insecurity was strongly associated with poor health, even with adjustment of age, job control, job demands, and work place social support. The deleterious effects of job insecurity appeared to be stronger in men than women, in women who held managerial or professional jobs than women in other employment grades, and in those working in larger companies than smaller ones. The findings of this study suggest that perceived job insecurity is an important source of stress, and it is accompanied with adverse psychosocial work conditions and poor health. High-risk groups were identified for further investigation.
... The original focus of most research linking optimistic attributional style and academic performance was optimism following negative events (OAS_N), as justified by the helplessness theory of depression and its extension, hopelessness theory (Abramson et al. 1989), as well as by the clinical focus of these two theories. Following this tradition, some researchers have indeed limited the definition of OAS to explanations of negative events (e.g., Dykema et al. 1996;Jackson et al. 2002;Peterson and Barrett 1987). A similar imbalance is obtained in studies of the relationship between attributional style and academic performance; mostly, attributions regarding negative events have been studied (Perry et al. 2008). ...
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Optimistic attributional style has been shown to be reliably associated with high well-being and low depression and (Hu et al., Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 34(4): 304–321, 2015). Via both a meta-analysis and two new studies, we examine the relationship between optimistic attributional style for explaining negative and positive events, and academic performance. In the meta-analysis, dispositions to make stable and global attributions for positive events were more strongly related to academic achievement (d = 0.21, k = 30, N = 6351) than dispositions to make unstable and local attributions regarding negative events (d = 0.11, k = 66, N = 11,023). Academic level (primary school vs secondary school vs university) and type of test (general vs achievement-specific) were shown to moderate the associations. The two new studies were designed to address the remaining questions. In both studies, optimistic attributional style for positive events most reliably predicted student academic achievement, including boosted achievement over time. Possible explanations for the moderator effects are discussed, and recommendations for future research as well as practical recommendations are provided.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between perceived stress, copingstrategies, mental health and attributions in the unemployment situation, to study which copingstrategies that could predict mental health and whether any gender differences existed. Participants were 157 unemployed in the south of Sweden. Results from a questionnaire showed significant correlations between stress and the variables emotionfocused coping, venting, negative coping and mental health. Internal attribution showed significant negative correlations with problemfocused coping, and social support. Mental health correlated nega-tively with venting and negative coping, and positively with emotionfocused coping. Negative coping was found to be the best predictor of low mental health. Gender differences were found regarding the variables stress, coping and mental health. The alphalevel .05 was used in all data. One conclusion drawn is that peo-ple during unemployment tend to use negative forms of coping that affect mental health. Implications for further research were discussed. Keywords: unemployment, stress, coping, mental health, attributions.
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Prior research links optimism to physical health, but the strength of the association has not been systematically evaluated. The purpose of this study is to conduct a meta-analytic review to determine the strength of the association between optimism and physical health. The findings from 83 studies, with 108 effect sizes (ESs), were included in the analyses, using random-effects models. Overall, the mean ES characterizing the relationship between optimism and physical health outcomes was 0.17, p < .001. ESs were larger for studies using subjective (versus objective) measures of physical health. Subsidiary analyses were also conducted grouping studies into those that focused solely on mortality, survival, cardiovascular outcomes, physiological markers (including immune function), immune function only, cancer outcomes, outcomes related to pregnancy, physical symptoms, or pain. In each case, optimism was a significant predictor of health outcomes or markers, all p < .001. Optimism is a significant predictor of positive physical health outcomes.
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Explanatory style (ES) reflects the way people usually explain disparate bad or good events involving the self. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to test whether ES moderates the effect of perceived ability on students’ expectancies and subjective task value, and (b) to explore the mediating effects of success expectancies and subjective task value in the relationships between ES and students’ grades in physical education classes (GPEC). A one-year prospective study was conducted with 182 high school students in physical education classes. First, regression analyses corroborated that ES interacted with perceived ability to predict success expectancies and subjective task value. An optimistic ES reduced the effects of a low perceived ability on subjective task value, whereas a pessimistic ES increased its harmful effects. Moreover, the more optimistic ES, the higher success expectancies are. Second, structural equation modelling analysis showed that ES had only a distal effect on students’ GPEC and was mediated by more proximal variables such as success expectancies and subjective task value.
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To examine the relationship between exposure to chronic community violence and upper respiratory illness (URI) symptoms among urban adolescents of color; and to test the generality of a model of the relationship between social stress and URI. The research used a cross-sectional correlational design. The sample was 769 first-semester first-year students in an urban nonresidential 4-year college from the academic years 1999-2002. Data were collected by a group-administered questionnaire in academic classes. The research used three multi-item additive scales (each with high reliability and validity): exposure to community violence, psychological distress, and URI symptoms. Multiple regression procedures were used to analyze the data. Positive correlations were obtained between: exposure to community violence and reporting of URI (r = .19), exposure and psychological distress (r = .22), and psychological distress and URI (r = .51). The relationship between exposure to community violence and URI is greatly reduced when level of psychological distress is statistically controlled. Exposure to community violence is related to experiencing URI symptoms among older urban adolescents of color; the effect size of the relationship is small-medium. Psychological distress mediates the impact of exposure to community violence on URI. The findings expand the range of social stressors that are empirically related to URI, and populations in which a relationship between social stressors and URI may be found.
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This study examined the relation between pessimistic explanatory style and cardiac health among a sample of cardiovascular disease patients participating in cardiac rehabilitation programs. Data were collected from 72 patients at the beginning and end of their cardiac rehabilitation programs. Participants completed questionnaires assessing explanatory style, depressive symptoms, and subjective appraisals of cardiac health. Objective indicators of cardiovascular health were collected from participants' medical files. Results showed that the stable dimension of pessimistic explanatory style had a direct and negative effect on self-reported cardiac health appraisals over the course of cardiac rehabilitation. Although there was support for partial mediation cross-sectionally, findings did not support prospective mediation by depressive symptoms for the relation between pessimistic explanatory style and cardiac health appraisals.
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Facebook has become an important part of building and maintaining relationships and an increasingly integral part of our lives at all developmental stages. Using Facebook to connect with friends and family can provide greater perceptions of social support, providing a buffer between life stress and physical and mental health outcomes. It has been hypothesised that geographically diverse communities may use Facebook to compensate for limited opportunities to access face-to-face social support. This study examines the role of Facebook-based social support on physical and mental health concerns (mental distress, dissatisfaction with life, and physical illness) across two samples of Australian adult Facebook users (209 living in metropolitan areas, 158 living regionally). Greater levels of Facebook-based social support predicted lower levels of health concerns in a metropolitan-based sample. No association between Facebook-based social support and health concerns was found in the regional sample. This result shows that the use of Facebook as a mechanism for social support, and its effects on health, vary across geographical locations, and appears to be mainly found in a metropolitan population.
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This study examined the influence of pessimistic explanatory style (PES) on the relation between stressful events and psychological distress, first as a moderator with an interaction term, and secondly as a mediator between stressful events and psychological distress. A demographic questionnaire, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12; Goldberg & Williams, 1991), the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS; Holmes & Masuda, 1974), and the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ; Peterson, 1995) were completed by 121 hospital doctors, 70 men and 51 women, aged 23-65 years (M = 37.2, SD = 1.2). There were no significant differences in mean GHQ psychological distress scores between groups for sex, domestic status, employment status or grade. Stressful events were positively associated with PES, and both were positively associated with psychological distress. In the absence of a significant interaction component, multiple regression analyses did not support explanatory style as a moderator, but did support it as a mediator in the relationship between stressful events and psychological distress. Findings were discussed in terms of helping doctors to alter their explanatory styles and possibly attenuate the influence of stressful events on their psychological distress.
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Negative attributional style or the relatively steady tendency to put poor out- comes down to internal, stable, and global causes, has been associated with the development of depressive symptoms and poor physical health. On the contrary, the tendency to put good outcomes down to internal, stable, and
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The evidence reviewed brings to light the complexity of the interactions that exist between the varied manifestations of sex and gender with the development of and morbidity associated with asthma. The effects of sex are manifest throughout life, beginning during pregnancy. Although the effects of sex on asthma include hormonal differences between females and males, diverse effects have been noted, including influence on immune maturation, the balance of the immunologic response, amplification of the inflammatory state associated with obesity, and modification of the response to therapy through effects on the β2 AR. The complex interactions that occur between the effects of sex and gender (the socio-cultural effect of being female or male) are discussed. Th influence of psychosocial factors (eg, stress, cognitive factors, emotion, coping, identity) on the course and presentation of obstructive lung disease is examined compared between girls and women and boys and men. To understand the disparities in asthma risk, the potential role of the complex interactions between various determinants of health should be understood. Understanding these interactions promises to lead to more effective therapies, including interventions aimed at educating individuals with asthma and their social supports and at helping individuals make behavioral changes. Documenting these multilevel determinants of health can shape changes at the institutional level, including policies that influence environmental exposures, and can remediate social inequities in resources.
Based on the transpersonal model of stress, the purpose of the study was to investigate the moderating effect of impulsivity on the relationship between stressful life events (SLE) and depression among first year university women. Impulsivity consists of tendencies towards lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, urgency and sensation seeking. Demographic questions, the College Undergraduate Stress Scale, a depression inventory, and items from the Eysenck Personality Scales were completed by 102 female New Zealand university students, aged 17–55 years (mean = 28.71, SD = 11.18). Multiple linear regression analysis of data showed that impulsivity moderated the association between SLE and depressive symptoms, such that the relationship was statistically significant only for the higher impulsivity group. For therapy, the implication of this finding is that the effects of accumulated stressors on depressive symptoms may be buffered by strengthening executive cognitive functioning abilities involving premeditation and self-control.
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Musculoskeletal disorders account for a higher proportion of sickness absence from work in the European Union than any other health condition. The present study examined the associations between work environment, dispositional optimism/pessimism and medically certified sickness absence caused by musculoskeletal complaints in a sample of employees from the Norwegian Armed Forces (N=1190, 77.5% men). Dispositional pessimism, but not optimism, predicted the amount of absence also when taking into account the effects of age and the work environment. Overall, our results support previous studies suggesting that pessimism is a more salient predictor of physical health than optimism. Our results also suggest that it may be beneficial for employers to combine medical treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms with psychological treatment targeting pessimistic outcome expectancies in order to reduce the amount of sickness absence.
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Some researchers measure optimism by analysing explanations for hypothetical scenarios in explanatory style questionnaires. The most commonly used instrument, the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ), has been shown to predict success in business, education and sport. However, these predictions were achieved by using composite scores of subscales. Our analysis of 15 measures revealed the ASQ and many other explanatory style questionnaires have low internal consistency. Furthermore, the majority of these measures use situations that have poor face validity for corporate applications, while some work-specific scenarios are only relevant to narrow domains such as selling insurance. To fulfil the need for a work-related explanatory style measure that could assess levels of optimism in any organizational setting, we developed the Workplace Explanations Survey (WES). This 5-factor measure was tested on a sample of 341 individuals working in a range of organizations and it has good internal consistency. We anticipate the WES will stimulate research into workplace optimism and provide clearer insights for optimism training, thus boosting both individual and organizational success.
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Negative attributional style or the relatively steady tendency to put poor outcomes down to internal, stable, and global causes, has been associated with the development of depressive symptoms and poor physical health. On the contrary, the tendency to put good outcomes down to internal, stable, and global causes (normally called enhancing explanatory style) has caught very little attention although results claim its protective role. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the likely mediating role of coping strategies between the explanatory styles and the development of depressive symptoms. Structural equation modelling showed that negative attributional style contributes to the development of depressive symptoms through the use of emotion-focused coping strategies and the non-use of problem-focused coping strategies. The opposite pattern was found for the enhancing explanatory style.
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Explanatory styles are related to individuals' positive health management. Everyone interprets and thinks about issues differently; therefore, medical information is understood in different ways. This study explored the relationship of optimistic and positive views on health literacy. A survey method was used to collect information from 342 university students. This study used PLS2.0 and SPSS 18.0 for data analysis. The results indicated that optimists had more accurate self-reported health status and medication-taking and nutritional knowledge than pessimists did. Females had higher scores on health knowledge and medication-taking and nutritional knowledge than males. In addition, female optimists had better performance on self-reported health status and health and medication-taking knowledge than female pessimists did. The major contribution of this study is the confirmation of the effect of explanatory style on health literacy.
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Negative attributional style or the relatively steady tendency to put poor outcomes down to internal, stable, and global causes, has been associated with the development of depressive symptoms and poor physical health. On the contrary, the tendency to put good outcomes down to internal, stable, and global causes (normally called enhancing explanatory style) has caught very little attention although results claim its protective role. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the likely mediating role of coping strategies between the explanatory styles and the development of depressive symptoms. Structural equation modelling showed that negative attributional style contributes to the development of depressive symptoms through the use of emotion-focused coping strategies and the non-use of problem-focused coping strategies. The opposite pattern was found for the enhancing explanatory style.
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Research has shown that explanatory style predicts negative mood outcomes as well as positive mood outcomes, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear. We investigated here whether the manner in which people savor life events might help explain these relationships. Specifically, we examined whether amplifying and dampening savoring mediated the associations between pessimistic and optimistic explanatory styles on the one hand, and positive and negative mood outcomes on the other. A sample of 103 university students completed self-report measures of explanatory style (ASQ), savoring (WOSC), and a variety of mood outcomes (i.e., happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety). A manifest variable path model showed that: 1) amplifying savoring mediated between optimism and positive mood; and 2) dampening savoring mediated between pessimism and negative mood. Also, as expected, dampening savoring was a significant negative predictor of positive mood outcomes, and both optimism and pessimism were significant predictors of positive mood outcomes. Altogether these results provide support for several conclusions. First, explanatory style seemed to significantly impact in predictable ways on positive and negative mood states: optimism positively predicted positive outcomes and pessimism positively predicted negative outcomes. And second, savoring significantly mediated the influence of explanatory style on both positive and negative mood states. This latter finding suggests that positive and negative expectations about life significantly shape how individuals react to and regulate positive events in their life.
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High ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) predicts cardiovascular events, even after controlling for clinic BP and other established risk factors. This study examined whether chronic or discrete stress in the past year was associated with greater ABP in adolescents. Participants were 217 male and female Black and White adolescents who wore ABP monitors on 2 consecutive school days and completed a survey of life events. Report of discrete, negative events was not associated with ABP. Adolescents experiencing greater numbers of chronic, negative life events exhibited greater systolic blood pressure (SBP), independent of ethnicity; sex; body mass index; and location, position, physical activity, and consumption of food/caffeine/nicotine at time of measurement. Greater numbers of chronic, negative events were associated with greater diastolic blood pressure (DBP) among boys. When resting clinic BP was introduced into the model, the main effect of chronic, negative life events on ambulatory SBP became nonsignificant, whereas the effect of chronic, negative life events on male adolescents' DBP persisted. Chronic stress is associated with greater ambulatory SBP among male and female adolescents and with greater ambulatory DBP among male adolescents. The latter association persisted after controlling for clinic BP, suggesting that males may be more vulnerable to chronic stress as a determinant of BP regulation than females early in life.
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The primary purpose of this paper is to review recent research examining the beneficial effects of optimism on psychological and physical well-being. The review focuses on research that is longitudinal or prospective in design. Potential mechanisms are also identified whereby the beneficial effects of optimism are produced, focusing in particular on how optimism may lead a person to cope more adaptively with stress. The paper closes with a brief consideration of the similarities and differences between our own theoretical approach and several related approaches that have been taken by others.
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College students completed questionnaires measuring their explanatory style and health status. Four weeks later, they completed questionnaires measuring major life events, hassles, and health status. Contrary to the prediction of the reformulated helplessness model, the occurrence of bad life events did not interact with explanatory style to predispose poor health. However, the tendency to explain bad events with stable and global causes was related to reports of hassles. Reports of hassles were in turn related to poor health status. These results were obtained even when initial health status was held constant. Implications of these results were discussed, particularly with regard to the helplessness reformulation as a diathesis-stress model.
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Participants in the Terman Life-Cycle Study completed open-ended questionnaires in 1936 and 1940, and these responses were blindly scored for explanatory style by content analysis. Catastrophizing (attributing bad events to global causes) predicted mortality as of 1991, especially among males, and predicted accidental or violent deaths especially well. These results are the first to show that a dimension of explanatory style is a risk factor for mortality in a large sample of initially healthy individuals, and they imply that one of the mechanisms linking explanatory style and death involves lifestyle.
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The present study investigated the relationship between explanatory style and the appraisal and coping of 66 major college football players with respect to stressful but controllable events in the academic and the athletic domains. A path analysis showed that for controllable events, a “pessimistic” explanatory style-in which bad events are attributed to internal, stable, and global causes-predicted appraisals of adequate resources to cope with demands, which in turn predicted increased attempts to cope.
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Examines the psychology research on the association between optimism and health and physical well-being. The authors first address definition, measurement, and research design issues. Research in support of the link between optimism and physical well-being is then described. While data suggest that optimistic thinking is linked to good health, two important conditions must be satisfied. First, a person's optimism must lead a person to act in a vigorous and sustained fashion because behavior is a critical link in the process of attaining and sustaining physical well-being. Second, the behavior encouraged by optimism must have a realistic link to health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A general formula (α) of which a special case is the Kuder-Richardson coefficient of equivalence is shown to be the mean of all split-half coefficients resulting from different splittings of a test. α is therefore an estimate of the correlation between two random samples of items from a universe of items like those in the test. α is found to be an appropriate index of equivalence and, except for very short tests, of the first-factor concentration in the test. Tests divisible into distinct subtests should be so divided before using the formula. The index [`(r)]ij\bar r_{ij} , derived from α, is shown to be an index of inter-item homogeneity. Comparison is made to the Guttman and Loevinger approaches. Parallel split coefficients are shown to be unnecessary for tests of common types. In designing tests, maximum interpretability of scores is obtained by increasing the first-factor concentration in any separately-scored subtest and avoiding substantial group-factor clusters within a subtest. Scalability is not a requisite.
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Some have speculated that explanatory style puts an individual at risk for illness. Study 1 supports this hypothesis by showing that college students who believe that stable + global factors caused bad events experienced more days of illness in the following month and visited physicians more frequently in the following year than students who explain bad events with unstable + specific causes. These findings held even when level of previous illness was controlled. Study 2 explores some of the possible links between explanatory style and poor health. College students who believe that stable + global factors caused bad events reported more unhealthy habits, lower efficacy to change these habits, and more stressful occurrences than students who explain bad events with unstable + specific causes. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/44333/1/10608_2005_Article_BF01204926.pdf
Article
Criticizes and reformulates the learned helplessness hypothesis. It is considered that the old hypothesis, when applied to learned helplessness in humans, has 2 major problems: (a) It does not distinguish between cases in which outcomes are uncontrollable for all people and cases in which they are uncontrollable only for some people (universal vs personal helplessness), and (b) it does not explain when helplessness is general and when specific, or when chronic and when acute. A reformulation based on a revision of attribution theory is proposed to resolve these inadequacies. According to the reformulation, once people perceive noncontingency, they attribute their helplessness to a cause. This cause can be stable or unstable, global or specific, and internal or external. The attribution chosen influences whether expectation of future helplessness will be chronic or acute, broad or narrow, and whether helplessness will lower self-esteem or not. The implications of this reformulation of human helplessness for the learned helplessness model of depression are outlined. (92 ref)
Article
Correlated pessimistic explanatory style--the belief that negative events are caused by internal, stable, and global factors--with lowered immunocompetence in a sample of 26 older adults. Two measures of cell-mediated immunity--T-helper cell/T-suppressor cell ratio and T-lymphocyte response to mitogen challenge--were lower in individuals with a pessimistic style, controlling for the influence of current health, depression, medication, recent weight change, sleep, and alcohol use. A relative increase in the percentage of T-suppressor cells seemed to underlie this immunosuppression. Although the mechanism by which explanatory style might influence immune function remains unknown, we speculate that a pessimistic style might be an important psychological risk factor--at least among older people--in the early course of certain immune-mediated diseases.
Article
Previous studies have shown that a pessimistic explanatory style is a risk factor for illness, but the factors linking explanatory style and illness are unknown. One's characteristic response to poor health may mediate this relationship. Perhaps pessimistic individuals act helplessly in the face of their symptoms, thereby exacerbating disease. In the present study, we investigated this possibility by asking 96 young adults to complete measures of explanatory style, habitual response to illness, and ways of coping during their most recent episode of illness. Subjects who explain bad events pessimistically (with internal, stable, and global causes) reported more frequent illnesses during the past year and rated their overall health more poorly than those who habitually favor external, unstable, and specific explanations. When ill, the pessimistic subjects were less likely than their optimistic counterparts to take active steps to combat their illness. Our results suggest that one pathway leading from pessimistic explanatory style to poor health is mundane: passivity in the face of disease.
Article
The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of survival time in first recurrent breast cancer patients, including psychologic as well as biologic factors. Beginning in 1979, 36 women being treated at the National Institutes of Health for histologically proven recurrent disease were enrolled in this prospective study. At the time of data analysis, 24 had died from their malignancy. Through the use of a Cox proportional hazards model, four factors significantly entered the equation predicting survival time in the sample: Patients with a longer disease-free interval, who expressed more joy at baseline testing, who were predicted to live longer by their physicians, and who had fewer metastatic sites tended to live longer with recurrent disease than others in the sample (X2 = 22.9, p less than 0.0001). Findings from recent clinical and animal studies suggest that regulatory systems within the organism are linked and potentially influence one another. This study has demonstrated that factors at a number of levels--behavioral, as well as biologic--need to be considered in accounting for disease outcome variance.
Article
Investigations of the learned helplessness model of depression have been hampered by the modest reliability of measures of explanatory style: the habitual tendency to explain bad events with internal, stable, and global causes. We describe a new measure of explanatory style, the Expanded Attributional Style Questionnaire, and its use in a preliminary study with 140 college students. Individual dimensions of explanatory style were reliable, were correlated with depressive symptoms, and predicted actual causal explanations for bad events 4 weeks later. Research implications are discussed.
Article
Explanatory style, the habitual ways in which individuals explain bad events, was extracted from open-ended questionnaires filled out by 99 graduates of the Harvard University classes of 1942-1944 at age 25. Physical health from ages 30 to 60 as measured by physician examination was related to earlier explanatory style. Pessimistic explanatory style (the belief that bad events are caused by stable, global, and internal factors) predicted poor health at ages 45 through 60, even when physical and mental health at age 25 were controlled. Pessimism in early adulthood appears to be a risk factor for poor health in middle and late adulthood.
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IN PREVIOUS studies [l] it has been established that a cluster of social events requiring change in ongoing life adjustment is significantly associated with the time of illness onset. Similarly, the relationship of what has been called ‘life stress,’ ‘emotional stress,’ ‘object loss,’ etc. and illness onset has been demonstrated by other investigations [2-131. It has been adduced from these studies that this clustering of social or life events achieves etiologic significance as a necessary but not sufficient cause of illness and accounts in part for the time of onset of disease. Methodologically, the interview or questionnaire technique used in these studies has yielded only the number and types of events making up the cluster. Some estimate of the magnitude of these events is now required to bring greater precision to this area of research and to provide a quantitative basis for new epidemiological studies of diseases. This report defines a method which achieves this requisite. METHOD
Article
The attributional reformulation of the learned helplessness model as outlined by L. Y. Abramson et al (see record 1979-00305-001) claims that an explanatory style in which bad events are explained by internal, stable, and global causes is associated with depressive symptoms. This style is claimed to be a risk factor for subsequent depression when bad events are encountered. A variety of new investigations of the helplessness reformulation are described that have employed 5 research strategies: cross-sectional correlational studies, longitudinal studies, experiments of nature, laboratory experiments, and case studies. Ss in these investigations included children, college students, poor women, depressed patients, and prisoners. Most of these studies involved the use of the Attributional Style Questionnaire and measures such as the Beck Depression Inventory and Multiple Affect Adjective Check List. These studies converge in their support for the learned helplessness reformulation. (120 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper presents evidence from three samples, two of college students and one of participants in a community smoking-cessation program, for the reliability and validity of a 14-item instrument, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), designed to measure the degree to which situations in one's life are appraised as stressful. The PSS showed adequate reliability and, as predicted, was correlated with life-event scores, depressive and physical symptomatology, utilization of health services, social anxiety, and smoking-reduction maintenance. In all comparisons, the PSS was a better predictor of the outcome in question than were life-event scores. When compared to a depressive symptomatology scale, the PSS was found to measure a different and independently predictive construct. Additional data indicate adequate reliability and validity of a four-item version of the PSS for telephone interviews. The PSS is suggested for examining the role of nonspecific appraised stress in the etiology of disease and behavioral disorders and as an outcome measure of experienced levels of stress.
Who gets sick? How beliefs, moods, and thoughts affect your health. Los Angeles: Tarcher Explanatory style and cell-mediated immunity
• B Justice
• L Kamen-Siegel
• J Rodin
• M E P Seligman
• J Dwyer
Justice, B. (1988). Who gets sick? How beliefs, moods, and thoughts affect your health. Los Angeles: Tarcher. Kamen-Siegel, L., Rodin, J., Seligman, M. E. P., & Dwyer, J. (1991). Explanatory style and cell-mediated immunity. Health Psychology, 10, 229–235.
Optimism and physical well-being Optimism and pessi-mism: Implications for theory, research, and Practice
• C Peterson
• L M Bossio
Peterson, C., & Bossio, L. M. (2001). Optimism and physical well-being. In E. C. Chang (Ed.), Optimism and pessi-mism: Implications for theory, research, and Practice (pp. 127–145). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Healthy attitudes: optimism, hope, and control Mind/body medicine: how to use your mind for better health
• C Peterson
• L M Bossio
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Explanatory style and coronary heart disease
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Survival hazards analysis in first recurrent breast cancer patients: 7 year follow-up
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Attributional style and coping among student-athletes during controllable stressful events
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Attributional style in depression: a meta-analytic review
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