2022 journal article

A Coordinated Analysis of Physical Reactivity to Daily Stressors: Age and Proactive Coping Matter

FORECASTING, 4(4), 1004–1018.

By: S. Neupert, E. Smith & M. Schriefer

author keywords: proactive coping; physical reactivity; daily stressors
Source: Web Of Science
Added: January 9, 2023

Proactive coping involves efforts to prepare for future stressors and may have implications for physical responses to stress. We examined age differences in physical reactivity to daily stressors moderated by proactive coping in a coordinated analysis across two separate daily diary studies. Study 1 included data from 116 older (age range 60–90) and 107 younger (age range 18–36) adults on daily stressors and physical health symptoms for 8 consecutive days. Study 2 included data from 140 adults (age range 19–86) on daily stressors and self-rated physical health for 29 consecutive days. Participants in both studies reported on their proactive coping on the first day of the study. Physical reactivity was indexed via lagged multilevel models as increases in daily physical symptoms in Study 1 and decreases in daily physical health in Study 2 with corresponding increases in daily stressors. Results indicated that in both studies, younger adults with low proactive coping were more physically reactive to daily stressors compared to younger adults with high proactive coping. Proactive coping was associated with reduced physical reactivity to daily stressors among younger adults, consistent with the characterization of a high degree of control and ample opportunities at earlier phases of adulthood which are critical for accumulating resources to proactively cope.