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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1988 Feb;54(2):296-308.

Mood and the mundane: relations between daily life events and self-reported mood.

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Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275.


Daily mood ratings and corresponding diary entries were studied to determine relations between common events and two independent mood factors--Positive Affect (PA) and Negative Affect (NA)--in a sample of 18 young adults over a 3-month period. In an extension of findings from earlier interindividual studies, PA (enthusiastic, delighted vs. sluggish, drowsy) was found to be associated with a wide range of daily events, whereas fewer correlations were found between these events and NA (distressed, nervous, angry vs. calm, relaxed). The relation between high PA and reported social interactions (particularly physically active social events) was especially robust, and its effects were noted repeatedly; NA was unrelated to social activity. As hypothesized, high NA was associated with physical problems; contrary to expectations, low PA also tended to be correlated with health complaints. Overall, the results reaffirm the importance of assessing NA and PA independently and suggest that PA is an interesting and important dimension that deserves more research attention. Theoretical considerations and clinical implications are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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