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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2011 Feb;37(2):255-68. doi: 10.1177/0146167210394204.

Daily cognitive appraisals, daily affect, and long-term depressive symptoms: the role of self-esteem and self-concept clarity in the stress process.

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University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The current study investigated how self-esteem and self-concept clarity are implicated in the stress process both in the short and long term. Initial and 2-year follow-up interviews were completed by 178 participants from stepfamily unions. In twice-daily structured diaries over 7 days, participants reported their main family stressor, cognitive appraisals (perceived stressor threat and stressor controllability), and negative affect. Results of multilevel modeling indicated that high self-esteem ameliorated the effect of daily negative cognitive appraisals on daily negative affect. Self-concept clarity also buffered the effect of low self-self-esteem on depressive symptoms 2 years later. Our findings point to the vulnerability of those having low self-esteem or low self-concept clarity in terms of both short- and long-term adaptation to stress. They indicate the need for the consideration of such individual differences in designing stress management interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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