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J Health Psychol. 2016 Jun;21(6):1004-14. doi: 10.1177/1359105314544132. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

Effects of lifetime stress exposure on mental and physical health in young adulthood: How stress degrades and forgiveness protects health.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Luther College, USA touslo01@luther.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, Luther College, USA.
4
Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

Abstract

To examine risk and resilience factors that affect health, lifetime stress exposure histories, dispositional forgiveness levels, and mental and physical health were assessed in 148 young adults. Greater lifetime stress severity and lower levels of forgiveness each uniquely predicted worse mental and physical health. Analyses also revealed a graded Stress × Forgiveness interaction effect, wherein associations between stress and mental health were weaker for persons exhibiting more forgiveness. These data are the first to elucidate the interactive effects of cumulative stress severity and forgiveness on health, and suggest that developing a more forgiving coping style may help minimize stress-related disorders.

KEYWORDS:

coping; disease; forgivingness; mechanisms; stress

PMID:
25139892
PMCID:
PMC4363296
DOI:
10.1177/1359105314544132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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