TitleResolution Status and Age as Moderators for Interpersonal Everyday Stress and Stressor-Related Affect.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsWitzel, DD, Stawski, RS
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published01/2021

OBJECTIVES: To examine stressor characteristics (i.e., stressor resolution) and individual differences (i.e., age) as moderators of affective reactivity and residue associated with everyday interpersonal stressors, including arguments and avoided arguments.

METHOD: A sample of 2,022 individuals participated in the second wave of the National Study of Daily Experiences (Meanage=56.25, Range=33-84). Over eight consecutive evenings, participants completed the Daily Inventory of Stressful Experiences and self-report measures of stressor resolution status and daily negative and positive affect. Using multilevel modeling we examined whether increased in daily negative affect and decreases in daily positive affect associated with arguments and avoided arguments occurring the same day (i.e., reactivity) or the day before (i.e., residue) differed depending on resolution of the interpersonal stressor. We further examined whether such stressor resolution effects were moderated by age.

RESULTS: Resolution significantly dampened NA and PA reactivity and residue associated with arguments, NA reactivity associated with avoided arguments (ps < .05). Older age was associated with being more likely to resolve both arguments and avoided arguments (ps < .05) and did reduce reactivity associated with avoided arguments. Older age did not moderate PA reactivity nor NA or PA residue associated with either arguments or avoided arguments (ps > .05).

DISCUSSION: Unresolved everyday arguments and avoided arguments are differentially potent in terms of affective reactivity and residue, suggesting resolution may be crucial in emotional down-regulation. Future work should focus on exploring resolution of other everyday stressors to garner a comprehensive understanding of what characteristics impact stressor-affect associations and for whom.

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
PubMed ID33423065