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The indirect effects of eustress and distress on the relation between an individual's locus of control and depressive symptoms

Bosse, E. (2017) The indirect effects of eustress and distress on the relation between an individual's locus of control and depressive symptoms.

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Abstract:There is growing interest in moving away from unidimensional conceptions of stress towards the recognition of the effects of contexts and personality factors on the appraisal of stressors and the resulting stress experience. Therefore, the present study aimed at examining two qualitative different stress responses: eustress, the healthy and constructive stress response, and distress, the more negative stress response. Eustress and distress experiences were compared with regard to their indirect effects on the relationship between an individual’s predominant locus of control (LOC) and depressive symptoms. It was assumed that internality (the belief of being in control over one’s own life) exerts a negative influence on the onset of depressive symptoms by promoting eustress. Externality (the feeling of being guided by external forces) was expected to be positively correlated with depressive symptoms since it may lead to the more frequent experience of distress. For testing the assumed associations, an exploratory cross-sectional correlational survey design was employed. Contrary to previous assumptions, data analysis shows that the relations between the different aspects of LOC and depressive symptoms are all mediated by distress but not by eustress. Nevertheless, the present study contributes to the reduction and prevention of depressive symptoms by demonstrating the importance of perceived personal control for coping with stressors. It is highly recommended to expand psychoeducation courses to include strategies for enhancing and maintaining a sense of control over one’s own life. Furthermore, depressive symptoms interventions are encouraged to shift focus from solely reducing distress experiences to supporting eustress experiences as well.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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