The present study examined the different types of stressors experienced by adults of different ages, their coping strategies, and positive/negative affect. A mediation hypothesis of coping strategies was tested on the relationships between age and positive/negative affect. One-hundred and ninety-six community-dwelling adults (age range 18-89 years old) reported the most stressful situation they experienced in the past month and coping strategies. Levels of positive and negative affect in the past month were also measured. Content analysis revealed age differences in different types of stressors adults reported. Three types of coping strategies were found: problem-focused, positive emotion-focused, and negative emotion-focused coping. Older adults were less likely than younger adults to use problem-focused coping and reported lower levels of positive affect. Path analysis supported the mediation hypothesis, showing that problem-focused coping mediated the relationship between age and positive affect. Implications are discussed on the importance of promoting problem-focused coping among older adults.
Chen, Yiwei; Peng, Yisheng; Xu, Huanzhen; and O'Brien, William H., "Age Differences in Stress and Coping: Problem-Focused Strategies Mediate the Relationship between Age and Positive Affect" (2017). Psychology Faculty Publications. 39.
The International Journal of Aging and Human Development