The role of negative affect and positive affect in stress, depression, self-esteem, assertiveness, Type A behaviors, psychological health, and physical health

Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr. 1993 Nov;119(4):515-52.


Dua (1989) constructed the Thoughts and Real-Life Experiences Scale (THARL) to assess the degree of positive and negative affect experienced by people as a result of their thoughts and day-to-day experiences. This monograph reports on a number of studies designed to investigate the relationship between negative and positive affect caused by thoughts and day-to-day experiences and psychological health, psychological problems, and physical health. Results showed that a preponderance of self-reported negative affect was related to higher levels of stress, depression, poor psychological well-being, poor psychological health, lower self-esteem and poor self-reported retrospective physical health. A preponderance of negative affect was associated with only one of the two measures of prospective physical health, namely, the number of visits to doctors for medical problems over a period of 4 weeks. Positive affect was not associated with either self-esteem or physical health. Assertiveness and Type A/B behaviors were not associated with either negative or positive affect. Also, of the two measures of negative affect, that caused by thoughts seemed to be a better predictor of health, well-being, and psychological problems than that caused by day-to-day experiences.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Assertiveness*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Personality Development
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Concept*
  • Sick Role*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Type A Personality*