Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Chronic stress, acute stress, and depressive symptoms

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abbey, A., Abramis, D. J., & Caplan, R. D. (1985). Effects of different sources of social support and social conflict on emotional well-being.Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 6, 111–129.

  2. Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87, 49–74.

  3. Aseltine, R. H., Jr. & Kessler, R. C. (1990).Marital disruption and depression: Evaluating the mediating and moderating effects of role context. Unpublished manuscript, Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

  4. Avison, W. R., & Turner, R. J. (1988). Stressful life events and depressive symptoms: Disaggregating the effects of acute stressors and chronic strains.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 29, 253–364.

  5. Bolger, N., Delongis, A., Kessler, R. C., & Schilling, E. A. (1989). Effects of daily stress on negative mood.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 808–818.

  6. Brown, G. W., & Harris, T. O. (1978).Social origins of depression: A study of psychiatric disorder in women. New York: Free Press.

  7. Brown, G. W. & Harris, T. O. (1989).Life events and illness. New York: Guilford.

  8. Caspi, A., Bolger, N., & Eckenrode, J. (1987). Linking person and context in the daily stress process.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 184–195.

  9. Cleary, P. D., & Kessler, R. C. (1982). The estimation and interpretation of modifier effects.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 23, 159–169.

  10. Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983).Applied multiple regression/correlational analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

  11. Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Social support: Stress and the buffering hypothesis.Psychological Bulletin, 98, 310–357.

  12. Costello, C. G. (1982). Social factors associated with depression: A retrospective community study.Psychological Medicine, 12, 329–339.

  13. Depue, R. A., & Monroe, S. M. (1986). Conceptualization and measurement of human disorder in life stress research: The problem of chronic disturbance.Psychological Bulletin, 99, 36–51.

  14. Derogatis, L. R. (1977).SCL-90: Administration, scoring, and procedures manual for the revised version. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.

  15. Dohrenwend, B. P. (1979). Stressful life events and psychopathology: Some issues of theory and method. In J. F. Barrnett, R. M. Rose, & G. L. Klerman (Eds.),Stress and mental disorder (pp. 1–15). New York: Raven.

  16. Dohrenwend, B. S., Krasnoff, L., Askenasy, A. R., & Dohrenwend, B. P. (1978). Exemplification of a method for scaling life events: The PERI life events scale.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 205–229.

  17. Eckenrode, J. (1984). Impact of chronic and acute stressors on daily reports of mood.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 907–918.

  18. Elder, G. H. Jr. (1974).Children of the Great Depression: Social change in life experience. Chicago: Chicago Press.

  19. Fiore, J., Becker, J., & Coppel, D. B. (1983). Social network interactions: A buffer or a stress?American Journal of Community Psychology, 11, 423–439.

  20. Higgins, E. T., Rholes, W. S., & Jones, C. R. (1977). Category accessibility and impression formation.Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, 13, 141–154.

  21. Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale.Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11, 189–194.

  22. Horwitz, A. V. (1984). The economy and social pathology.Annual Review of Sociology, 10, 95–119.

  23. Kessler, R. C. (1982). Life events, social support, and mental illness. In W. R. Gove (Ed.),Deviance and mental illness (pp. 247–271). Beverly Hills: Sage.

  24. Kessler, R. C. (1987). The interplay of research design strategies and data analysis procedures in evaluating the effects of stress on health. In S. V. Kasl & C. J. Cooper (Eds.),Stress and health: Issues in research methodology (pp. 113–140). New York: Wiley.

  25. Kessler, R. C., & Cleary, P. D. (1980). Social class and psychological distress.American Sociological Review, 45, 63–78.

  26. Kessler, R. C., & McLeod, J. D. (1984). Sex differences in vulnerability to undesirable life events.American Sociological Review, 49, 620–631.

  27. Kessler, R. C., Turner, J. B., & House, J. S. (1989). Unemployment, reemployment, and emotional functioning in a community sample.American Sociological Review, 54, 648–657.

  28. Lazarus, R. S., & DeLongis, A. (1983). Psychological stress and coping in aging.American Psychologist, 38, 245–254.

  29. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984).Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.

  30. Marks, S. R. (1977). Multiple roles and role strain: Some notes on human energy, time, and commitment.American Sociological Review, 42, 921–936.

  31. Mattlin, J. A., Wethington, E., & Kessler, R. C. (1990). Situational determinants of coping and coping effectiveness.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 31, 103–122.

  32. McLeod, J. D., & Kessler, R. C. (1990). Socioeconomic status differences in vulnerability to undesirable life events.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 31, 162–172.

  33. Mitchell, R. E., Cronkite, R. C., & Moos, R. H. (1983). Stress, coping, and depression among married couples.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 92, 433–448.

  34. Neugebauer, R. (1981). The reliability of life events. In B. S. Dohrenwend & B. P. Dohrenwend (Eds.),Stressful life events and their contexts (pp. 125–148). New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

  35. Pagel, M. D., Erdly, W. W., & Becker, J. (1987). Social networks: We get by with (and in spite of) a little help from our friends.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 793–804.

  36. Pearlin, L. I., Lieberman, M. A., Menaghan, E. G., & Mullan, J. T. (1981). The stress process.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 22, 337–356.

  37. Pearlin, L. I., & Schooler, C. (1978). The structure of coping.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 19, 2–21.

  38. Rahe, R. H. (1969). Life crisis and health change. In P. R. A. May & J. R. Winterborn (Eds.),Psychotropic drug response: Advances in prediction. Springfield, IL: C C Thomas.

  39. Riley, D., & Eckenrode, J. (1986). Social ties: Subgroup differences in costs and benefits.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 770–778.

  40. Rook, K. S. (1984). The negative side of social interaction: Impact on psychological well-being.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 1097–1108.

  41. Schuster, T. L., Kessler, R. C., & Aseltine, R. H. (1990). Supportive interactions, negative interactions, and depressed mood.American Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 423–438.

  42. Silver, R. L., & Wortman, C. B. (1980). Coping with undesirable life events. In J. Garber & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.),Human helplessness: Theory and applications (pp. 279–375). New York: Academic Press.

  43. Sudman, S., & Bradburn, N. (1974).Response effects in surveys: A review and synthesis. Chicago: Aldine.

  44. Thoits, P. A. (1983). Dimensions of life events that influence psychological distress: An evaluation and synthesis of the literature. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.),Psychological stress: Trends in theory and research (pp. 33–103). New York: Academic Press.

  45. Thoits, P. A. (1986). Multiple identities: Examining gender and marital status differences in distress.American Sociological Review, 51, 259–272.

  46. Veroff, J., Douvan, E., & Kulka, R. A. (1981).The inner American: A self-portrait from 1957 to 1976. New York: Basic Books.

  47. Watson, D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (1989). Health complaints, stress, and distress: Exploring the central role of negative affectivity.Psychological Review, 96, 234–254.

  48. Wheaton, B. (1983). Stress, personal coping resources and psychiatric symptoms: An investigation of interactive models.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 208–229.

  49. Wheaton, B. (1990). Life transitions, role histories, and mental health.American Sociological Review, 55, 209–223.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Ronald C. Kessler.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

McGonagle, K.A., Kessler, R.C. Chronic stress, acute stress, and depressive symptoms. Am J Commun Psychol 18, 681–706 (1990).

Download citation


  • Depressive Symptom
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Chronic Stress
  • Acute Stress