Research Paper

Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 833-848

Psychological and Social Factors that Promote Positive Adaptation to Stress and Adversity in the Adult Life Cycle

  • M. Guadalupe Jiménez AmbrizAffiliated withFacultad de Psicología Módulo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Email author 
  • , María IzalAffiliated withFacultad de Psicología Módulo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • , Ignacio MontorioAffiliated withFacultad de Psicología Módulo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

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Abstract

The phenomenon of resilience reflects positive adaptation despite contexts of risk, significant adversity, or trauma (Masten and Powell 2003; Luthar 2006). The purpose of this investigation was to propose a mediation model to explain the relation between stress and some psychological and social resources that enhance positive adaptation throughout the entire adult life cycle, and to explore the moderator role of age and country of origin. The indicator of positive adaptation was life satisfaction (LS). The sample comprised 171 Mexicans and 154 Spaniards (N = 325), aged between 18 and 87 years. Mediation was tested by means of various hierarchical regression analyses, which revealed that the positive adaptation process is enhanced by a group of psychological and social resources that mediate the effects of stress on LS. Self-esteem, optimism, internal control, coping aimed at acceptance, and coping aimed at seeking emotional support, as well as social contacts can mediate the negative effects of stress. Finally, it was found that age moderates the internal control but none of the remaining variables whereas the country does not moderate the relation of the variables.

Keywords

Positive adaptation Resilience Stress Life satisfaction Adult life cycle