Life Events, Life Stress, Coping, Appraisal, Resilience, Structural Equation Modeling
It has been often argued that life events have an impact on our physical and psychological well-being. In general, research supports this connection between life events and general health, though some argue that simply experiencing life events has a measurable and predictable impact our health, while others contend that this effect is mediated by the appraisal process. Further, research has identified a number of different factors (hypothetically stratified into pre-existing beliefs, external resources and demands, and behavioral activation and coping strategies) that may influence appraisal and general health. The current study attempts to integrate these findings by testing structural models of the relationship between life events, life stress, and general health while considering the appraisal process and other potential moderators of appraisal and general health. University students (N=204) were tested using 17 assessment measures representing 7 latent constructs of Life Events, Life Stress, Appraisal, General Health, Beliefs, External, and Activation. Results of the measurement models required model respecification to combine Appraisal and Beliefs into one construct and External and Activation into another construct, resulting in a five-factor hypothetical structural model. The resulting empirical structural model is a partially-mediated model that suggests that appraisal and pre-existing beliefs influence the relationship between life events and life stress, and that life events significantly impact measured life stress. The empirical model also indicates that general health is significantly impacted by life stress, as well as behavioral activation and external resources and demands. Practical implications of the findings and recommendations for further research were discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Myers, Christopher Aaron, "Life Event Perception: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach To The Antecedents Of The Life Stress Response" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 474.