Social Problem Solving as a Moderator of Stress-Related Depressive Symptoms: A Prospective Analysis

Arthur M. Nezu, George F. Ronan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that problem-solving skills serve to moderate the likelihood that individuals will experience depressive symptoms as a function of negative stressful life events. The present study attempted both to replicate this finding and to provide for a more rigorous test of this hypothesis by (a) using a prospective design, (b) controlling for prior level of depression, (c) incorporating two measures of problem solving, and (d) including several methodological controls to increase the validity of the assessment of stressful life events. Results from both the cross-sectional and prospective analyses involving data collected from 150 university students provided support for the hypothesis that problem solving moderates stress-related depressive symptoms. More specifically, for both measures of problem solving, results indicated that effective problem solvers under high levels of stress reported significantly lower depression scores than ineffective problem solvers under similar levels of stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1988

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