Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 199–210 | Cite as

Hostility, Interpersonal Competence, and Daily Dependent Stress: A Daily Model of Stress Generation

  • Jorden C. Sahl
  • Lawrence H. Cohen
  • Kimberly B. Dasch
Original Article


We used a daily diary design to evaluate a daily model of stress generation that included both daily sadness and hostility as precipitants, and interpersonal competence as a moderator variable. Our results indicated that daily stress generation was precipitated by daily hostile, but not sad, mood. Participants’ skill at initiating interactions influenced daily stress generation in an unexpected direction. Specifically, the positive daily relationship between hostility and dependent stress was stronger for those with higher initiation scores. The results suggest that stress generation at the daily level functions differently than stress generation involving major life events. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research on stress generation.


Stress generation Depression Diary research 


  1. Adrian, C., & Hammen, C. (1993). Stress exposure and stress generation in children of depressed mothers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 354–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. (1996). Beck depression inventory manual (2nd ed.). San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  4. Bolger, N., Davis, A., & Rafaeli, E. (2003). Diary methods: Capturing life as it is lived. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 579–616.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bolger, N., DeLongis, A., Kessler, R. C., & Schilling, A. (1989). Effects of daily stress on negative mood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 808–818.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bottonari, K., Roberts, J., Kelly, M., Kashdan, T., & Ciesla, J. (2007). A prospective investigation of the impact of attachment style on stress generation among clinically depressed individuals. Behavior Research and Therapy, 45, 179–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buhrmester, D., Furman, W., Wittenberg, M. T., & Reis, H. T. (1988). Five domains of interpersonal competence in peer relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 991–1008.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buss, A. H., & Perry, M. (1992). The aggression questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452–459.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Butler, A. C., Hokanson, J. E., & Flynn, H. A. (1994). A comparison of self-esteem lability and low trait self-esteem as vulnerability factors for depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 166–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, L. H., Gunthert, K. C., Butler, A. C., O’Neill, S. C., & Tolpin, L. H. (2005). Daily affective reactivity as a prospective predictor of depressive symptoms. Journal of Personality, 73, 1687–1713.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, L. H., McGowan, J., Fooskas, S., & Rose, S. (1984). Positive life events and social support and the relationship between life stress and psychological disorder. American Journal of Community Psychology, 12, 567–587.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Coyne, J. C. (1976). Toward an interactional description of depression. Psychiatry, 39, 28–40.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Daley, S. E., Hammen, C., Burge, D., Davila, J., Paley, B., Lindberg, N., et al. (1997). Predictors of the generation of episodic stress: A longitudinal study of late adolescent women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 251–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dasch, K. D., Cohen, L. H., Sahl, J. C., & Gunthert, K. C. (in press). Moderating effects of sociotropy and autonomy on affective and self-esteem reactivity to daily stressors. Cognitive Therapy and Research. Google Scholar
  15. Davila, J., Bradbury, T. N., Cohan, C. L., & Tolchuk, S. (1997). Marital functioning and depressive symptoms: Evidence for a stress generation model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 849–861.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davila, J., Hammen, C., Burge, D., Paley, B., & Daley, S. E. (1995). Poor interpersonal problem solving as a mechanism of stress generation among adolescent women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 592–600.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dodge, K. A. (1991). The structure and function of reactive and proactive aggression. In D. J. Pepler & K. H. Rubin (Eds.), The development and treatment of childhood aggression (pp. 201–218). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. Dodge, K. A., & Coie, J. D. (1987). Social-information-processing factors in reactive and proactive aggression in children’s peer groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1146–1158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Doyle, K. W., Wolchik, S. A., Dawson-McClure, S. R., & Sandler, I. N. (2003). Positive events as a stress buffer for children and adolescents in families in transition. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32, 536–545.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eckenrode, J. (1984). Impact of chronic and acute stressors on daily reports of mood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 907–918.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fleiss, J. L. (1971). Measuring nominal scale agreement among many raters. Psychological Bulletin, 76, 378–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gunthert, K. C., Cohen, L. H., & Armeli, S. (1999). The role of neuroticism in daily stress and coping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1087–1100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hammen, C. (1991). Generation of stress in the course of unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 555–561.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hammen, C. (2006). Stress generation in depression: Reflections on origins, research, and future directions. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62, 1065–1082.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hammen, C., & Brennan, P. A. (2002). Interpersonal dysfunction in depressed women: Impairments independent of depressive symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 72, 145–156.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harkness, K. L., & Luther, J. (2001). Clinical risk factors for the generation of life events in major depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 564–572.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Harkness, K. L., Monroe, S. M., Simons, A. D., & Thase, M. (1999). The generation of life events in recurrent and non-recurrent depression. Psychological Medicine, 29, 135–144.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hokanson, J. E., & Butler, A. C. (1992). Cluster analysis of depressed college students’ social behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 273–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Joiner, T. E. Jr. (2002). Depression in its interpersonal context. In I. H. Gotlib & C. L. Hammen (Eds.), Handbook of depression (pp. 295–313). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  30. Joiner, T. E. Jr., Wingate, L. R., Gencoz, T., & Gencoz, F. (2005). Stress generation in depression: Three studies on its resilience, possible mechanism, and symptom specificity. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24, 236–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kanner, A. D., Coyne, J. C., Schaefer, C., & Lazarus, R. S. (1981). Comparison of two modes of stress measurement: Daily hassles and uplifts versus major life events. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4, 1–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Karasawa, K. (2003). Interpersonal reactions toward depression and anger. Cognition and Emotion, 17, 123–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Monroe, S. M., & Simons, A. D. (1991). Diathesis stress theories in the context of life stress research: Implications for the depressive disorders. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 406–425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. O’Neill, S. C., Cohen, L. H., Tolpin, L. H., & Gunthert, K. C. (2004). Affective reactivity to daily interpersonal stressors as a prospective predictor of depressive symptoms. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 172–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Park, C., Cohen, L. H., & Herb, L. (1990). Intrinsic religiousness and religious coping as life stress moderators for Catholics versus Protestants. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 12, 56–72.Google Scholar
  36. Posner, K. L., Sampson, P. D., Caplan, R. A., Ward, R. J., & Cheney, F. W. (1990). Measuring interrater reliability among multiple raters: An example of methods for nominal data. Statistics in Medicine, 9, 1103–1115.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Potthoff, J. G., Holahan, C. J., & Joiner, T. E. (1995). Reassurance seeking, stress generation, and depressive symptoms: An integrative model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 664–670.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Roos, P., & Cohen, L. H. (1987). Sex roles and social support as moderators of life stress adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 576–585.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sacco, W. P., Milana, S., & Dunn, V. K. (1988). The effect of duration of depressive episode on the response of others. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 7, 297–311.Google Scholar
  41. Sandler, I. N., & Lakey, B. (1982). Locus of control as a stress moderator: The role of control perceptions and social support. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 65–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scott, W. D., Ingram, R. E., & Shadel, W. G. (2003). Hostile and sad moods in dysphoria: Evidence for cognitive specificity in attributions. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 22, 233–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Segrin, C., & Abramson, L. Y. (1994). Negative reactions to depressive behaviors: A communication theories analysis. Journal of Abnormal Behavior, 103, 655–668.Google Scholar
  44. Snijders, T., & Bosker, R. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  45. Stader, S. R., & Hokanson, J. E. (1998). Psychosocial antecedents of depressive symptoms: An evaluation using daily experiences methodology. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 17–26.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Steer, R. A., & Clark, D. A. (1997). Psychometric characteristics of the Beck Depression Inventory-II with college students. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 30, 128–136.Google Scholar
  47. Tennen, H., & Affleck, G. (2002). The challenge of capturing daily processes at the interface of social and clinical psychology. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21, 610–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tolpin, L. H., Cohen, L. H., Gunthert, K. C., & Farrehi, A. (2006). Unique effects of depressive symptoms and relationship satisfaction on exposure and reactivity to daily romantic relationship stress. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25, 565–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tolpin, L., Cohen, L. H., Gunthert, K., & O’Neill, S. (2004). Borderline personality features and instability of daily negative affect and self-esteem. Journal of Personality, 72, 111–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Watson, D., & Clark, L. A. (1994). The PANAS-X: Manual for the positive and negative affect schedule—expanded form. Iowa City: University of Iowa.Google Scholar
  51. Wierzbicki, M., & McCabe, M. (1988). Social skills and subsequent depressive symptomatology in children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 17, 203–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorden C. Sahl
    • 1
  • Lawrence H. Cohen
    • 1
  • Kimberly B. Dasch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations