Life stressors, personal and social resources, and depression: a 4-year structural model

J Abnorm Psychol. 1991 Feb;100(1):31-8. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.100.1.31.


By extending earlier stress-resistance research with a 1-year time lag, findings with 254 adults show that adaptive personality characteristics and positive family support operate prospectively over 4 years in predicting reduced depression, even when prior depression is controlled. By strengthening knowledge about the determinants and mediational role of coping, the results demonstrate in a 2-group LISREL analysis that the pattern of predictive relations differs under high and low stressors. Under high stressors, personal and social resources relate to future psychological health indirectly, through more adaptive coping strategies. Under low stressors, these resources relate directly to psychological health. The results support the idea that such resources play a causal role in maintaining psychological health, and they suggest the potential for a general, adaptively oriented framework applicable to adjustment under both high and low stressors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*