Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1035–1047 | Cite as

Life Satisfaction and Positive Adjustment as Predictors of Emotional Distress in Men With Coronary Heart Disease

  • Pilar SanjuánEmail author
  • Ángeles Ruiz
  • Ana Pérez
Research Paper


This two-wave longitudinal study examines the ability of life satisfaction and adjustment strategies to predict anxious and depressive symptoms in coronary heart disease male patients. Studies have shown that most heart attack survivors report these symptoms, which may worsen the prognosis of the disease. At Time 1, immediately after the first cardiac episode, eighty-eight men reported their life satisfaction levels, adjustment strategies used, and anxious and depressive symptoms experienced. At Time 2, six months later, sixty-three of those patients reported only their anxious and depressive symptoms again. The results showed that, after controlling for demographic variables, anxious and depressive symptoms at Time 1 were predicted by positive adjustment and life satisfaction. At Time 2, after controlling for both demographic variables and Time 1-emotional symptoms, none of the psychological variables predicted anxious symptoms, while depressive symptoms were only predicted by life satisfaction. It is concluded that an adequate level of life satisfaction may help to decrease emotional distress, both short and long term, while the use of positive adjustment strategies is especially important immediately after diagnosis.


Coronary heart disease Anxiety Depression Life satisfaction Adjustment to illness Coping strategies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)MadridSpain

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