Everyday stressors and gender differences in daily distress

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Sep;75(3):670-80. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.75.3.670.


This article examines gender differences in psychological distress by assessing men's and women's experience of daily stressors and psychological distress in a sample of 166 married couples. Respondents completed a structured daily diary each day over the course of 42 days. Results showed that women reported a higher prevalence of high distress days and a lower prevalence of distress-free days than men. Gender differences in daily distress were attributable largely to women experiencing more onsets of distress episodes rather than being more likely to continue in a distress state from one day to subsequent days. Results from hierarchical linear models (HLM) indicated that the significant gender differences diminished after respondents' daily stressors were taken into account. Implications of these findings for gender role and rumination theories are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Men / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Theory
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Women / psychology*