Narrative centrality and negative affectivity: independent and interactive contributors to stress reactions.
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Reactions to stressful negative events have long been studied using approaches based on either the narrative interpretation of the event or the traits of the individual. Here, we integrate these 2 approaches by using individual-differences measures of both the narrative interpretation of the stressful event as central to one's life and the personality characteristic of negative affectivity. We show that they each have independent contributions to stress reactions and that high levels on both produce greater than additive effects. The effects on posttraumatic stress symptoms are substantial for both undergraduates (Study 1, n = 2,296; Study 3, n = 488) and veterans (Study 2, n = 104), with mean levels for participants low on both measures near floor on posttraumatic stress symptoms and those high on both measures scoring at or above diagnostic thresholds. Study 3 included 3 measures of narrative centrality and 3 of negative affectivity to demonstrate that the effects were not limited to a single measure. In Study 4 (n = 987), measures associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress correlated substantially with either measures of narrative centrality or measures of negative affectivity. The concepts of narrative centrality and negative affectivity and the results are consistent with findings from clinical populations using similar measures and with current approaches to therapy. In broad nonclinical populations, such as those used here, the results suggest that we might be able to substantially increase our ability to account for the severity of stress response by including both concepts.
Life Change Events
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1037/a0035140
Publication InfoBoals, A; Hoyle, Rick; & Rubin, David C (2014). Narrative centrality and negative affectivity: independent and interactive contributors to stress reactions. J Exp Psychol Gen, 143(3). pp. 1159-1170. 10.1037/a0035140. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9765.
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Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Research in my lab concerns the means by which adolescents and emerging adults manage pursuit of their goals through self-regulation. We take a broad view of self-regulation, accounting for the separate and interactive influences of personality, environment (e.g., home, school, neighborhood), cognition and emotion, and social influences on the many facets of goal management. Although we occasionally study these influences in controlled laboratory experiments, our preference is to study the pu
Juanita M. Kreps Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
For .pdfs of all publications click here My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory
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