Long-Term Patterns and Predictors of Successful Stressor Resolution in Later Life

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Abstract

At 1 year, 4 years, and 10 years after baseline, late-middle-aged adults reported whether they had successfully resolved their most important stressor of the past year. Compared to individuals who never resolved focal stressors over the 10-year interval, those who always did consistently showed less negative stressor appraisal, less reliance on avoidance coping, and less use of exploratory relative to directed coping responses, independent of type and severity of focal stressor. Less use of exploratory relative to directed coping and having more social resources, fewer health problems, and fewer depressive symptoms at baseline predicted more stressor resolution over the next 10 years. These predictors are promising foci for prospective efforts to optimize ways in which aging adults manage late-life stressors.

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