Moderating factors explaining stress reactions: comparing chronic-without-acute-stress and chronic-with-acute-stress situations

J Psychol. 2002 Jul;136(4):407-19. doi: 10.1080/00223980209604167.


The author compared patterns of moderating factors explaining stress reactions during 2 states: chronic-without-acute-stress and chronic-with-acute-stress. She hypothesized that personal dispositions would contribute more to understanding stress reactions during a prolonged stress state than during an acute state. The participants were Israeli Jewish adolescents living in West Bank settlements during the prolonged (chronic-without-acute-stress) state of the intifada (the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation) and during the chronic-with-acute-stress state, immediately after the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin. The author examined 5 variables as moderating factors--trait anxiety, sense of coherence, cognitive appraisal of the political situation, family sense of coherence, and sense of community--and measured 2 stress reactions--state anxiety and psychological distress. Data were collected from 266 8th-grade students during the chronic-without-acute-stress state and 448 students at the same grade level at the chronic-with-acute-stress state. The overall magnitude of variance explanation was different at each state: The author found a relatively high explained variance of state anxiety and psychological distress in the chronic-without-acute-stress situation but not in the chronic-with-acute stress state. These data support the value of developing a model that would recognize the different types of stress situations for moderating the effects of stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Civil Disorders / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Homicide / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Time Factors