Date of Award

1988

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley

Abstract

The relation between life events and psychological distress has been a subject of considerable interest in recent years. Most previous research has focused on major life events. The present study investigated the role of minor daily events and their relation to symptoms of depression, anxiety and global psychological distress. Two scoring approaches were used for both types of events; frequency of occurrence and the subjective weighting of each occurrence. A total of one hundred and ninety one subjects volunteered from the community. Each subject completed the daily stress scale each day for seven consecutive days. At the end of the week, each subject completed a measure of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms and global distress. The data were analyzed using correlational and multiple regression techniques. A similar pattern of results were found for each of the three dependent measures in relation to the major and minor events. The use of subjective weightings did produce some improvement in the magnitude of the associations. The results indicated an association between major life events and psychological distress, as found in previous research. An association was also found between minor events and psychological distress. Most importantly, minor events were significantly related to psychological distress when the influence of major events was statistically controlled. In conclusion, the role of minor events in psychological distress warrants continued study.

Pages

126

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