Stressful life transitions and wellbeing: a comparison of the stress buffering hypothesis and the social identity model of identity change

Praharso, Nurul F., Tear, Morgan J. and Cruwys, Tegan (2017) Stressful life transitions and wellbeing: a comparison of the stress buffering hypothesis and the social identity model of identity change. Psychiatry Research, 247 265-275. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2016.11.039

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Author Praharso, Nurul F.
Tear, Morgan J.
Cruwys, Tegan
Title Stressful life transitions and wellbeing: a comparison of the stress buffering hypothesis and the social identity model of identity change
Journal name Psychiatry Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1872-7123
0165-1781
Publication date 2017-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.11.039
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 247
Start page 265
End page 275
Total pages 11
Place of publication E Park, Shannon, Clare Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract The relationship between stressful life transitions and wellbeing is well established, however, the protective role of social connectedness has received mixed support. We test two theoretical models, the Stress Buffering Hypothesis and the Social Identity Model of Identity Change, to determine which best explains the relationship between social connectedness, stress, and wellbeing. Study 1 (N=165) was an experiment in which participants considered the impact of moving cities versus receiving a serious health diagnosis. Study 2 (N=79) was a longitudinal study that examined the adjustment of international students to university over the course of their first semester. Both studies found limited evidence for the buffering role of social support as predicted by the Stress Buffering Hypothesis; instead people who experienced a loss of social identities as a result of a stressor had a subsequent decline in wellbeing, consistent with the Social Identity Model of Identity Change. We conclude that stressful life events are best conceptualised as identity transitions. Such events are more likely to be perceived as stressful and compromise wellbeing when they entail identity loss.
Keyword Depression
Multiple group membership
Social identity
Social support
Stress
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
 
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